Tag Archives: Obama

Howard University Announces Plan For Affordability And Degree Completion

Howard University plans to freeze tuition for all undergraduate and select graduate degree programs. Tuition rebates will be offered to students who earn their degree early or on time. Howard University is working to make college more affordable and hopes this plan will help with President Obama’s goal of having America as the leading country with the highest portion of college graduates by 2020.

What do you think about the University putting forth this plan?

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Justices Ask Obama Administration Its Views On Special Education Case

This week the U.S. Supreme Court asked the Obama administration for its views on whether a parent may bring a negligence claim against a school district that allegedly failed to identify a high school student’s disabilities.

The justices asked the U.S. solicitor general’s office to give its view on the issue raised under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

The case involves an appeal filed by a California school district of two lower court rulings that the mother had a valid legal claim under the IDEA that the district had failed to identify her daughter’s disabilities.

The facts in court papers show that when the student was in 10th grade, her teachers became concerned that her work was “gibberish and incomprehensible” and that she had failed every class. The school district referred the girl to a mental health counselor, who recommended that the student be evaluated for learning disabilities. The district did not follow the recommendation, and it promoted the girl to the 11th grade.

The mother later made a request for an individualized education program (IEP)for her daughter, and the district determined that the girl was eligible for special education services for a learning disability.

The mother brought an administrative claim under the IDEA, arguing that the school district failed under the law’s “child find” requirement to identify the girl’s disabilities sooner. That requirement obliges states to ensure that all children with disabilities who are in need of special education services are identified, located, and evaluated.

An administrative law judge largely sided with the family, ordering as much as 150 hours of compensatory tutoring for the girl’s lost educational opportunities.

The school district appealed that ruling in federal district court, arguing among other things that if the family prevailed, students with disabilities would be able to bring “educational malpractice” claims against districts.

The district court rejected the school district’s arguments, and a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, in San Francisco, also sided with the family.

In a 2-1 decision, the 9th Circuit panel rejected the school district’s arguments. The majority held that there was a broad jurisdictional mandate under the federal special education law, and that in this case there was “willful inaction” on the district’s part in the face of numerous “red flags” about the student’s disabilities.

The appeal is Compton Unified School District v. Addison (Case No. 10-886). The solicitor general’s office usually takes several months to respond to the high court’s request for its views in a case.

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Is the New Health Care Law Unconstitutional?

This week, the Justice Department appealed judge Roger Vinson’s January ruling that declared the new health-care law unconstitutional. The case will now move to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.
Vinson voided the law in January but stayed his ruling last week, conditioned upon the Obama administration’s appealing it within seven days. He also required the government to seek expedited appellate review.

Two other federal appeals courts, in Richmond, Va., and Cincinnati, are preparing to consider the constitutionality of the law late this spring. To date, three lower courts have found the law constitutional, while two have ruled the other way.

Do you think the law is unconstitutional? Please provide sound legal arguments for why or why not – not just opinion.

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Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks Executive Order On Immigration

Judge Andrew Hanen, of the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Texas, in Brownsville, granted a temporary injunction blocking an executive order that would have protected about four million undocumented foreigners from deportation.

Twenty-six states,including Georgia,sought the emergency injunction. The states argued that Obama’s move is illegal.

The White House called the ruling wrong, saying the president had acted within his legal authority and vowed an appeal.

What do you think about the temporary injunction?

What do you think about the executive order?

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