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Ninth Circuit Ruling: Special Education Student Not Protected By Furlough of Teachers

NINTH U.S. CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALGovernment Law-Where state decided to shut down public schools and furlough teachers on17 dates, and student sought an injunction claiming violation of thestay-put provision of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act,which provides that a child shall remain in the then-current educationplacement during the pendency of any proceedings, state teachersassociation, which signed contract agreeing state may implementfurloughs, was not a necessary party since relief requested--keepingschools open, but not addressing staffing--would not render contractillegal and would not affect a legally protected interest held by theassociation. Plaintiff challenging shutdowns was not required to exhaustadministrative remedies given the time-sensitive nature of the right toremain in the current educational placement, which the IDEA was designedto protect. District court considering injunction request was notrequired to apply the stay-put provision's automatic injunction standardrather than the preliminary injunction balancing test, and court did noterr in concluding that the balance of the equities did not tip in favorof the plaintiffs. Plaintiff was unlikely to prevail on the meritsbecause IDEA's stay-put provisions do not apply to system-wide changesin public schools that affect disabled and nondisabled children alike,and district court did not err in denying injunction.N. D. v. State of Hawaii Department of Education - filed April 5,2010Cite as 09-17543Full text<>

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