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    2nd Circuit: Supreme Court Upholds Tuition Ruling

    October 11, 2007

    Supreme Court Upholds Tuition Ruling
    By DAVID STOUT and JENNIFER MEDINA


    WASHINGTON, Oct. 10 — The Supreme Court on Wednesday let stand a ruling that the New York City school system must pay private school tuition for disabled children, even if the parents refuse to try public school programs first. But the justices are likely to take up the issue again soon, with nationwide implications.

    The justices split, 4 to 4, in the case of Tom Freston, the former chief executive for Viacom, and his son Gilbert, with Justice Anthony M. Kennedy taking no part. The tie meant that a 2006 ruling in Mr. Freston’s favor by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in Manhattan, stands for now. But it has no effect outside the circuit, which covers New York State, Connecticut and Vermont.

    The case has been closely watched by educators. Almost seven million students nationwide receive special-education services, with 71,000 educated in private schools at public expense, according to the federal Education Department. Usually, districts agree to pay for those services after conceding that they cannot provide suitable ones.

    New York City pays for private schools for more than 7,000 severely handicapped children because it agrees that it cannot properly instruct them. But, officials said, requests for tuition payments for special education students by parents who have placed their children in private school on their own have more than doubled in five years, to 3,675 in 2006 from 1,519 in 2002. And the cost of these payments grew to more than $57 million in the last school year.

    “The trend has been increasing for several years,

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    PUBLIC PAYS FOR UPPER CLASS' PRIVATE ED.

    October 8, 2007 -- PARENTS say it's harder to get into than Harvard. It's an elite, private Manhattan school that mainly takes kids of the rich, famous and well connected.

    Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick's son went to the Churchill School, and a nephew attends. Artist and filmmaker Julian Schnabel's son goes there.

    Designer Dana Buchman wrote a memoir about her daughter's experience at the school, which caters to bright kids, grades kindergarten through 12, who've been declared learning disabled.

    But the thing that separates Churchill from the Daltons and Chapins is the price: It's free.

    Rather - you, the taxpayer, fund private education for kids whose parents can afford the freight.

    Because 96 percent of Churchill's 405 students get their tuition - $34,000 this year - picked up by the state and city. You buy these kids state-of-the-art facilities, plus class sizes that top out at 12.

    Of the 16 students whose parents write a fat check this year, most will ask for a refund - and get it.

    I asked Bacon to comment, but he said "no" and hung up.

    Schnabel did not return a call.

    Top political consultant Hank Sheinkopf, whose daughter attends for free, admitted it stinks rich kids primarily get a gratis private-school education. "What's wrong . . . is that poor kids can't get in," he said. "You have to hire an expensive lawyer. I'd like to see other people have this opportunity, too."

    For me, the whistle was blown on Churchill by a mom whose son is enrolled - against her wishes. In a fight with her wealthy doctor ex-husband to get their boy into a mainstream school, she handed me the Churchill directory.

    It reads like a society register. For every kid on it who lives in Brooklyn, there are perhaps 20 on Park Avenue, in Greenwich Village or on Sutton Place.

    Since 1999, the number of parents who get kids diagnosed with a disability, then apply for a private-school refund, is up enormously. The city paid more than $57 million for 3,675 kids whose cases were contested by the Ed. Department in the '05-'06 school year.


    The city is fighting against thousands of parents who never even try public schools before demanding a private-school refund. That's the case with multimillionaire ex-Viacom chief Tom Freston, whose son attends another pricey Manhattan school. Freston is taking his case for a cash refund to the Supreme Court - "on principle."

    Lawyer Neal Rosenberg is the chief go-to guy for getting your kid into a pricey school gratis. He claims a "100 percent success rate" at Churchill.

    "I've never had a client who presented a disability just to get the Board of Ed to pay," he insisted.

    He disagrees that would-be Churchill kids should try public school first. "Why make their child a guinea pig?" he said.

    One thing's certain: He will always have clients.

    andrea.peyser@nypost.com

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/10082007/ne ... ass_pr.htm

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    2nd Circuit: Supreme Court Upholds Tuititon Rulin

    I believe the "elites" are working actively to create a "two-tiered" educational system in this country whereby the successful go to private schools - often at public expense - while our public school system is left to become uniformly substandard. That is why the Bush Administration has pushed aggressively to promote its "private school voucher system" across the nation. It was the premise that everyone in the United States receive a free public school education which made this nation what it is: that was a basis for the "American Dream" and of our "melting pot", or successful blending of other cultures into our own. However, another basis of that success was the assumption that individual students and their families were responsible for their own efforts within a common framework of public benefits both paid for and offered to all as equally as possible.
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

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