Appeals court rules HI special ed age restriction illegal

Published  3:25 PM HST Aug 28, 2013
special education student in class
HONOLULU (AP) -

A federal appeals court has ruled that a Hawaii statute setting an age limit on special education violates federal law.
    
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday ruled Hawaii must provide public education to students with disabilities up to age 22.
    
Hawaii enacted a law in 2010 that made students older than 20 ineligible for public school, prompting a class-action lawsuit. A federal law requires states that provide an education to students ages 19 to 21 to also offer special education for those the same ages.
    
The plaintiffs argued that because Hawaii offers adult community schools, the state ran afoul of federal law.
    
The Hawaii Disability Rights Center calls the ruling a groundbreaking victory for special education students.
    
The state attorney general's office is reviewing the decision.

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