Hawaii Pays $10M After Being Sued For Cutting Up Special Education Funds

Grace Carr | Reporter

Hawaii had to pay $10 million dollars to a disabilities organization after the group sued because the state wasn’t following its own laws regarding special education funds.

Hawaii law ensures that persons with disabilities will receive special education funding until they reach the age of 22, but the state attempted to cut those funds off at age 20, The Sacramento Bee reported. Following the state’s error, the Hawaii Disability Rights Center filed a lawsuit asking the state to honor its 2010 disabilities funding law, which promises that no cuts for young disabled persons will be made.

The state settled with the group for $10 million after a federal appeals court ruled that Hawaii was violating the federal Individuals With Disabilities Education Act by seeking to cut off funding prematurely. (RELATED: Meet The ‘Transabled’: Able-Bodied People Who Identity As Disabled)

The $10 million will not only pay for education services for a large number of students, but it will also reimburse parents for any out-of-pocket expenses they paid for special education services. The allocation of funds comes after 495 disabled students joined the lawsuit against the state.

Some of the money will also cover attorney fees and administrative costs incurred during the lawsuit’s proceedings.

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