This article just showed up in the Chroncle: Disabled students required to pass exit exam. While the main focus is the fact that special ed. advocates lost their attempt to exempt special ed. kids from the California requirement for passing the exit exam to get a diploma, what caught my eye is this:

He said the anticipated settlement will provide tutoring for each senior in special education for two years after graduation day at a cost to the state of $525 per pupil each year.

We are in the middle of a budget crisis. Yet, through a legal settlement instead of through a legislative act, a new increase in categorical (restricted) funds has been enacted presumably to be deducted from the general (dwindling) unrestricted funds for education. This kind of circumvention of the political process to make fiscal and policy decisions through court settlements is one of my pet peeves.


In the article after the decision (State asked to study special-ed exam failures), it turns out the requirement is a little different. The State Department of Education is supposed to demand money to study how to modify testing for special ed kids. If the money isn’t forthcoming, the suit is back on.