Court order: MDE must notify Special Education students of disclosure and right to object

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: (Minneapolis, Minn.)  — Following a class action lawsuit, filed by Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid’s Minnesota Disability Law Center, U.S. District Judge Patrick J. Schiltz preliminarily approved a settlement on May 14.

That settlement directs the Minnesota Department of Education to notify a group of former special education students that they may be entitled to compensatory education for having been denied school days leading up to their 22nd birthday.

Unless they object, names of former students, described below, will be shared with the Claims Administrator so they may be informed of their eligibility.

○ (i) birthdates are between July 1, 1998, to June 30, 2001
○ (ii) received special education services from a Minnesota school district or local education agency sometime between July 1, 2019, and July 1, 2022
○ (iii) special education instructions or services were ended before the student turned 22 years old

Students or their families who object may ask MDE not to share their names by emailing before Monday, July 15, 2024. Notice of potential disclosure of student records.

In 2020, Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid’s Minnesota Disability Law Center took up the case of two students, and those similarly classed, contending their school districts prematurely ended instruction July 1 following their 21st birthday, in violation of federal law. The U.S. District Court agreed.


Media Contacts:
Kevin Burns
Minnesota Department of Education | 651-703-4928

Lisa Ramirez
Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid | 612-746-3641

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