Federal oversight to end for District’s special-ed school buses

Correction:

November 9, 2012

A federal judge has agreed to let the District regain control of its special education school buses after 17 years of federal supervision, Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) said Thursday.

In 1995, parents filed a class-action suit alleging that the city had failed to provide reliable transportation for students with disabilities. The suit led to federal oversight of the system.

The city has demonstrated that it can reliably serve its 3,100 special education students, said to David Gilmore, the supervising court master. Gilmore emphasized in an October report that despite the improvements, the city’s “ability to continue in compliance is fragile.”

“The performance of the transportation system could deteriorate rapidly if the financial support or management resources currently being provided by the District of Columbia are reduced,” Gilmore said.

U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman set a December hearing date to finalize dismissal of the suit, Petties v. District of Columbia.

Emma Brown writes about D.C. education and about people with a stake in schools, including teachers, parents and kids.
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