Schneider Wallace Wins Another Victory for Students With Disabilities

The ruling from the Second Circuit follows similar rulings obtained by Schneider Wallace from the Ninth and First Circuits.

On July 8, 2021, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the judgment of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, holding that: (1) Connecticut violated the Individuals With Disabilities Act (“IDEA”) by terminating special education services for students prior to their 22nd birthday while offering public education to non-disabled adults; and (2) Connecticut’s violation entitled class members who are no longer receiving special education to compensatory education to remedy the past unlawful termination of their services. A.R. v. Connecticut State Board of Education, 20-2255.

As a result of the Second Circuit’s decision, thousands of current Connecticut special education students will have the opportunity to continue their education until the age of 22 and thousands of past Connecticut special education students will receive compensatory education. The district court will decide the exact scope of compensatory education. Since July of last year, Connecticut has been implementing part of the district court’s ruling, allowing special education students to continue their education until they turn 22.

Schneider Wallace is lead counsel for the plaintiff class in A.R. The Second Circuit’s decision follows similar decisions in actions in which Schneider Wallace were class counsel successfully challenging Hawaii and Rhode Island laws prematurely terminating students’ entitlement to special education. K.L. v. Rhode Island Bd. of Educ., 907 F.3d 639, 641 (1st Cir. 2018); R.K. v. State of Hawaii Dep’t of Educ., 728 F.3d 982 (9th Cir. 2013).

Schneider Wallace is continuing to investigate this issue and is planning on bringing lawsuits against other states that shortchange their residents with disabilities of the special education services to which they are entitled under federal law.