Lawsuit: Several Illinois school districts refusing to educate students with severe disabilities

Chicago News USA
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HARVEY, Ill. — A south suburban facility housing children with severe disabilities said several area school districts are violating the law. They’ve filed a lawsuit charging the districts with refusing to provide an education to some of their students.

Harvey’s Children’s Habilitation Center provides housing, care and education to children with severe mental and physical disabilities.

The center said it’s at a tipping point and it must lay off staff or stop teaching children.

The center’s attorney Chris Grohman says school districts are passing the buck on who will pay for nearly 20% of the students at Children’s Habilitation Center.

“Unfortunately, District 147 has made the decision to disenroll approximately 11 students that have been enrolled in that district for years,” he said.

The lawsuit filed seeks over $600,000 in damages from the West Harvey-Dixmoor School District, which previously had enrolled the majority of the students. The lawsuit also calls on the Illinois Board of Education to rule on who’s responsible for 11 children currently at the center.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the lawsuit also names West Aurora School District 129, Burbank School District 111, Iroquois County School District 9 in Watseka, Frankfort School District 157C and Chicago Public Schools.

For the time being, the center has vowed to provide the 11 children with an education for as long as it can afford to. But given its own budgetary constraints, that money is likely to run out by mid-November.

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