Thursday, May 31, 2007

14th Annual Education Law Conference.

Just received the following info from Linda Morin-Pasco and thought I'd pass it on to my readers:

14th Annual Educational Law Conference July 24 – July 27, 2007 Portland, ME

July 27, 2007 offers 7.0 CLE credits, including 1.0 Ethics Credit.Please click here for additional details for July 27, 2007 or to connect to the link register for this conference.

For the complete program schedule from July 24 through July 27, 2007, please click here.

Conference includes 50 small up-to the-minute workshops by nationally known law, policy, and research experts including sessions on autism, special education, closing achievement gaps, student aspirations, civil rights, harassment and discrimination, school reform, liability and risk avoidance, and more ...
Great networking opportunities, always rave reviews from participants about the chance to meet a diverse group of attendees and make contacts that last ...
CLE and continuing education credits available, also Conference available for credit (1-3 credits) and School Law (1 week intense course, 3 credits) through USM. Email for more information.

DATE: July 24-27,2007

TIME: Various times, 8:30-4 plus evening events

LOCATION: University of Southern Maine & University of Maine Law School, Portland, ME

MORE INFO: Sarah Redfield,

Keynote speakers: USDOE Undersecretary Morgan Brown on Strategic Support for Innovation, Alliance for Excellent Education President Governor Wise on Making Education Work, Ed-Trust’s Paul Ruiz on No Time to Waste, Russ Quaglia on Achievement and Aspiration; & Federal Judge Morrison England on Education Equity.
Special events include the stellar Blackboard Bench & Bar reception at the Portland Museum of Art, lobster bake on Peaks Island, and a bayside reception for Critical Exposure and Constitutional Literacy.

Register Now by phone or online, USM Conferences 207-780-5960,

Monday, May 14, 2007

Federal Jurisdiction

An interesting question of federal jurisdiction arose in a recent Second Circuit case. A student's IEP provided that the student was entitled to a 1:1 paraprofessional, but only at the public school. The student attended a parochial school, and the parents asked for a due process hearing, seeking to have the services of the paraprofessional be provided to him at his private school. The hearing officer ruled in favor of the parents. The school district appealed to the New York Education Department's State Review Officer, who agreed with the hearing officer, except held that there was no obligation to provide the paraprofessional under IDEA. He did, however, find such an obligation under the New York State Education Law. The school district filed an action in the federal court, challenging the determination of the State Review Officer. The District Court upheld the decision of State Review Officer.

On appeal, the Second Circuit held that because there was no right to the relief under federal law, the Court lacked jurisdiction. Even if IDEA incorporates certain state standards relevant to this case (an issue not decided), this does not provide an independent federal question that would sustain a federal court's jurisdiction. Nor does the provision of IDEA that allows an aggrieved party from an administrative decision in a special education action to bring an action in federal court, allow such a party to bring an action where there was no federal question. To hold that the court had jurisdiction in such a circumstance would allow jurisdiction insonsistent with Article III. The Court decided that the case should be brought in state court and dismissed the action.

The decision in Bay Shore Union Free School District v. Kain can be found here.