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Nonsense: CPS Wastes More Money Fighting Corey H... CPS continues expensive fight against rights of disabled children

On July 19, 2012 ruling U.S. District Judge Robert W. Gettleman ruled against Chicago Public Schools in the 20-year old Corey H case protecting disabled students. The judge went as far to say it was "mystifying and disturbing" that CPS would try a procedural move to vacate the settlement agreement protecting children children with disabilities. Jack Bouboushian first reported the ruling at the Court News Service website < http://www.courthousenews. com/2012/07/23/48614.htm >

Fourteen years after being put under a court monitor because of its violations of the rights of students with disabilities, the Chicago Board of Education continues to pay outside law firms nearly a million dollars a year to stall and fight in federal court. Above, the Board Report of June 27, 2012 spending another quarter million dollars on the current outside firm doing work on "Corey H."The famous "Corey H" case was filed “on behalf of children in Chicago who had been identified by CPS as needing special education services because of their disabilities and who had historically been segregated by CPS based on the categories of their disabilities, in violation of the IDEA’s mandate to provide a free appropriate public education in the LRE [20 U.S.C. §1412(5)(B)]. The IDEA is the federal "Individuals with Disabilities Education Act." LRE means "Least Restrictive Environment."

Of the more than 500,000 children in CPS’s 553 schools during most of the 1990s, at least 10 percent of them (more than 50,000) had been classified by CPS as having disabilities. The Corey H case (the name was the pseudonym of a student who at the time was at Amundsen High School) remained in court for two decades.

In 1998 a settlement was approved “to institute a number of reforms and conduct a program known as the 'Education Connection,' under which approximately one-third of its schools would be given resources sufficient to bring them into compliance with the IDEA’s LRE mandate.”

What most recently made Judge Gettleman upset at the fact that CPS wanted to vacate the settlement two months before it was to expire and chastised CPS lawyers by stating “…someone at CPS or in the City of Chicago administration made a decision to disavow the progress achieved under Corey H., thus incurring substantial costs and needlessly prolonging this litigation.”

Substance News has covered the Corey H case extensively over the years. One of the foremost experts on Special Education issues and this case specifically is Rod Estvan, who works for the group Access Living, which promotes the rights of the disabled. Mr Estvan has been issuing regular reports on how CPS budget allocations disenfranchise special education students and continue to deny them appropriate services under Federal law. He also comments regularly at substancenews.net and on other sites (including District299.com, the controversial blog operated out of Brookleyn by pundit Alexander Russo).

Back in February 2008 Mr. Estvan wrote < http://www.substancenews.net/articles.php?page=164 > of how CPS would rather spend money in court rather than do what was right by providing services to special education students in Chicago. “The CPS option or solution to this problem was to legally fight its way out of” court compliance orders according to Estvan. “Some things for students with disabilities have gotten better in CPS, but many things have also gotten worse. Academic achievement for students with disabilities in CPS have improved over the course of the Corey H case, but they have not improved enough to increase the likelihood that these students will have improved life out comes.

During the past year, CPS has been paying its own Law Department lawyers to go before the judge on Corey H, but has also paid outside lawyers to do that work.

And yet again CPS was in court wasting taxpayer money fighting federal disability laws and a settlement that it signed. Luckily not all Judges are controlled by the democratic machine ruling independent of any political pressures. US District Judge Gettleman made clear that CPS’s arguments were "Nonsense" and that its "...motion to vacate is meritless for a number of reasons, and the case law on which it relies in no way justifies decertifying the class or vacating the judgment entered by agreement in 1998.”

In the conclusion the court wrote how blatant CPS was in the abuse of its power to litigate opposed to protecting the most vulnerable children in Chicago, "Once again, in the instant case … plaintiffs' claims are based on systemic failures and the defendant now seeking to decertify the class agreed to systemic reforms.”

[The Full Ruling is reproduced below and can be found at http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/07/23/cps(1).pdf ]

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS

EASTERN DIVISION

COREY H., LATRICIA H., ANDREW B., and

JASON E., by their parents and next friends,

SHIRLEY P., BEVERLY HL, SHARON B., and

STEPHEN E., on behalf of a class of similarly

situated persons,

Plaintiffs,

v.

THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE CITY

OF CHICAGO, and THE ILLINOIS STATE

BOARD OF EDUCATION,

Defendants.

Case No. 92 C 3409

Judge Robert W. Gettleman

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

After more than 20 years of litigation and 14 years after a court-approved Settlement

Agreement between plaintiffs and defendant Board of Education of the City of Chicago

(“Chicago Public Schools” or “CPS”), and within months before the termination of the

Settlement Agreement, CPS has decided to waste scarce public resources by filing a nearfrivolous

motion under Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b) to decertify the class and vacate the judgment to

which it had agreed in 1998 and again in 2010. (Doc. 852.) This effort is both mystifying and

disturbing, driven perhaps by considerations that have no place in the administration of CPS’s

obligations under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq.,

(“IDEA”) to educate children with disabilities in the least restrictive environment (“LRE”).

BACKGROUND

A brief history of the litigation will put the current motion to vacate into perspective.

The case was filed in 1992 on behalf of children in Chicago who had been identified by CPS as

needing special education services because of their disabilities and who had historically been

segregated by CPS based on the categories of their disabilities, in violation of the IDEA’s

mandate to provide a free appropriate public education in the LRE. [1] Of the more than 500,000

children in CPS’s 553 schools in 1998, at least 10% of them (more than 50,000) had been

classified by CPS as having disabilities.

The case was originally assigned to Judge Leinenweber, who had denied motions to

dismiss and certified a class defined as:

[A]ll children who are enrolled in the Chicago Public Schools and who are or will

be classified as having a disability by [CPS], and who are therefore subject to

[CPS’s] and ISBE’s illegal practice and policy of failing to educate children with

disabilities within the least restrictive environment appropriate to their needs.

Shortly before the case was assigned to the undersigned judge in October 1994, the

parties had agreed to attempt to settle based upon the advice of three jointly-retained outside

experts. As the court has noted, [2]

The joint experts conducted an extensive, scientifically sound investigation and

concluded that [CPS] was seriously out of compliance with the LRE requirements

of the IDEA. According to the joint experts, children with disabilities in the

Chicago public schools are typically educated in overly restrictive placements.

The joint experts concluded that the children’s placements were based mostly on

the categories or severities of their disabilities, rather than their individual needs.

Both the City and the State were found to have failed to monitor or implement the

principles of educating children with disabilities in the least restrictive

environment, or to train teachers and other educational professionals in these

principles.

Although the first effort to settle failed, CPS and plaintiffs negotiated a comprehensive

Settlement Agreement [3] that assumed the class definition approved by Judge Leinenweber in

1993, and that was approved by this court in February 1998. (Docs. 124-127.) As discussed

more fully below, the CPS Consent Decree committed CPS to institute a number of reforms and

conduct a program known as the “Education Connection,” under which approximately one-third

of its schools would be given resources sufficient to bring them into compliance with the IDEA’s

LRE mandate.

The other defendant, the Illinois State Board of Education (“ISBE”), chose to continue to

litigate, and after a trial on the issue of liability the court found for plaintiffs and ordered ISBE to

address appropriate remedies for its violation of the IDEA. Corey H., 995 F.Supp. 900.

Eventually, ISBE entered into a Settlement Agreement with plaintiffs, which this court approved

in June 1999. (Docs. 161, 164.) That Settlement Agreement and consent decree did not change

or dispute the same class definition as assumed in the CPS Consent Decree.

Thus, for more than 14 years this court has presided over the administration of one or

both Consent Decrees governing the provision of special education services to children with

disabilities who had been identified by CPS as needing these services, along with extensive

monitoring by the court-approved monitor (the “Monitor”) [4] and monitors employed by CPS and

ISBE. As would be expected in a case of this importance and complexity, even after the Consent

Decrees for CPS and ISBE were in place, the parties, the Monitor, and the court have engaged in

extensive post-decree proceedings. These have included (but by no means were limited to) the

establishment of benchmarks and LRE indicators to measure progress, improvements to the

Individual Education Programs (“IEPs”) required by the IDEA for special education students,

the training of teachers and staff, and the efforts by CPS to meet the goals of its Education

Connection schools.

During the course of the post-decree proceedings, pursuant to the terms of the parties’

agreements, the court extended both the CPS and ISBE Settlement Agreements because the court

had concluded on several occasions that neither CPS or the ISBE were in substantial compliance

with the terms to which they had agreed. In 2010, however, the court determined that the

interests of all parties and the public required that both settlements should terminate, mindful of

the fact that both CPS and ISBE would be expected to continue to comply with the requirements

of the IDEA, and confident that the experience of Corey H. would deter a return to the

unacceptable and unlawful segregation of children with disabilities in the Chicago public

schools. Accordingly, with the parties’ agreement this court ordered that the Consent Decree for

ISBE would terminate on August 1, 2011, and for CPS on September 1, 2012. Thereafter, the

Monitor is to prepare reports on the levels of compliance (and non-compliance) by each agency,

and the parties were given leave to file responses and objections to the reports, with the court to

rule on any objections after briefing.[5] Both defendants executed agreed orders confirming these

dates and their continued responsibility to comply with their Consent Decrees until those dates.

(Docs. 735, 728.)

Despite having the end of this litigation firmly in sight, using the Seventh Circuit’s recent

decision in Jamie S. v. Milwaukee Public Schs., 668 F.3d 481 (7th Cir. 2012), as an excuse, CPS

filed the instant motion on March 2, 2012, to vacate the consent decree to which it had agreed

not once (in 1998) but twice (when it agreed in November 2010 to the extension of the decree to

September 1, 2012).[6] With the briefing of the motion not scheduled to be complete until mid-

May 2012, and oral argument having been set for June 2012, [7] the court’s ruling on the motion

was not expected until less than two months before CPS’s obligations under its Consent Decree

were set to expire. Thus, after more than fourteen years of enormous effort by CPS’s dedicated

professionals – teachers, principals, administrators, staff, and inside counsel – someone at CPS

or in the City of Chicago administration made a decision to disavow the progress achieved under

Corey H., thus incurring substantial costs and needlessly prolonging this litigation.

As discussed below, CPS’s motion to vacate is meritless for a number of reasons, and the

case law on which it relies in no way justifies decertifying the class or vacating the judgment

entered by agreement in 1998.

DISCUSSION

In the January 1998 Consent Decree between plaintiffs and CPS, the parties implicitly

acknowledged the previous certification of the class by Judge Leinenweber and agreed to a

significant number of reforms aimed at educating all children in the class consistent with the

mandates of the IDEA. These reforms included significant improvements to the IEPs,

monitoring, reporting, and continuing education, along with supporting teachers and staff in the

requirements of the IDEA. The Settlement Agreement also reconfirmed what came to be known

as the “Education Connection Program” in which approximately one-third of the schools in the

Chicago Public School System (178/553 as of January 1998) would be given special resources,

training, and attention in developing multi-year plans to improve the education in the LRE of

those children attending those schools who had been identified by CPS as having disabilities.

Pursuant to the Consent Decrees, CPS developed an elaborate Implementation Plan and

proceeded to address and correct its previous segregated, categorical system of educating

children with disabilities. To be sure, there have been many disagreements and contested issues

among plaintiffs, CPS, and ISBE in the fourteen years since the Settlement Agreement was

approved, but the court has witnessed and acknowledged on many occasions a great deal of

progress. In 2010, as noted above, the court concluded that the time had come to close the

curtain on Corey H., and the parties began to negotiate the terms under which this case – and the

obligations of CPS and ISBE under their respective Settlement Agreements – could be brought

to a conclusion.

On November 18, 2010, the court entered an agreed order (the “Extension Order,” Doc.

728) pursuant to which CPS consented to an extension of all provisions of the 1998 Settlement

Agreement (with certain exceptions not relevant to the current motion) to September 1, 2012. In

the extension order, CPS also agreed (as did ISBE in its Agreed Extension Order, Doc. 735) that

after the termination date the Monitor would issue a “report pertaining to compliance issues

under the [Consent Decrees],” to which the parties would respond or object and the court would

rule accordingly.

Notably, throughout all these proceedings, the thousands of hours of effort by all parties,

counsel, and the court, the expenditure of tens of millions of dollars committed to the reform of

the CPS special education system, and the participation of hundreds of thousands of children

with disabilities – members of the certified class – in the Corey H. system established pursuant

to the Consent Decrees, no one – not plaintiffs, ISBE, or CPS – has ever complained about class

certification or the definition of the class as children “who are or will be classified as having a

disability by [CPS].” Indeed, everything that has been accomplished, by agreement of CPS

itself, has been with the acknowledgment of the existence of and for the benefit of this class of

children. Yet CPS now seeks to decertify the class and dismiss and vacate the consent decree.

A consent decree is “essentially a settlement agreement subject to continued judicial

proceedings.” Cleveland Firefighters for Fair Hiring Practices v. City of Cleveland, 669 F.3d

737, 743 (6th Cir. 2012) (Keith, J., dissenting). Such decrees are “a strange hybrid in the law . . .

at once a voluntary settlement agreement which could be fully effective without judicial

intervention and a final judicial order . . . placing the power and prestige of the court behind the

compromise struck by the parties.” Id. (citations omitted). Because of this, consent decrees are

construed strictly to preserve the bargained-for position of the parties, and courts have an

affirmative duty to protect the integrity of their decrees and ensure that the terms are effectuated.

Id.; United States v. Bd. of Educ. of the City of Chicago, 799 F.2d 281, 290 (7th Cir. 1986).

Despite their agreed nature, however, as judicial decrees they are subject to the rules

generally applicable to other judgments and decrees. Rufo v. Inmates of Suffolk County Jail,

502 U.S. 367, 378 (1992). Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b), on which CPS relies, provides that:

On motion and upon such terms that are just, the court may relieve a party or a

party’s legal representative from a final judgment, order, or proceeding for the

following reasons: . . . (5) the judgment has been satisfied, released, or

discharged, or a prior judgment upon which it was based has been reversed or

otherwise vacated, or it is no longer equitable that the judgment should have

prospective application.

The Supreme Court has counseled that a district court should exercise flexibility in

considering requests for modifications of an institutional reform consent decree, and that

“[m]odification of a consent decree may be warranted when changed factual conditions make

compliance with the decree substantially more onerous.” Rufo, 502 U.S. at 384. Even so, “Rule

60(b)(5) provides that a party may obtain relief from a court order when ‘it is no longer equitable

that the judgment should have prospective application,’ not when it is no longer convenient to

live with the terms of a consent decree.” Id. at 383. Therefore, the party seeking modification

“bears the burden of establishing that a significant change in circumstances warrants revision of

the decree.” Id.

Additionally, “modification should not be granted where a party relies on events that

actually were anticipated at the time it entered the decree. If it is clear that a party anticipated

changing conditions that would make performance of the decree more onerous but nevertheless

agreed to the decree, that party would have to satisfy a heavy burden to convince a court that it

agreed to the decree in good faith, made a reasonable effort to comply with the decree, and

should be relieved of the undertaking under Rule 60(b).” Id. at 385 (internal citations omitted).

As noted, CPS agreed to an extension of the decree on November 18, 2010. As plaintiffs

argue, nothing has changed since that time to suggest that CPS’s compliance with the terms of

the consent decree has become any more onerous, and no changes have occurred that could not

have been anticipated by CPS. Thus, the court agrees with plaintiffs that CPS has waived any

argument that the decree should be modified because it has become more onerous based on any

factual change in circumstances between the time it entered the decree in 1998 and November

2010. Further, the court finds that CPS has failed to carry its heavy burden of establishing that

any change since November 2010 justifies relief from the undertaking to which it agreed.

CPS has argued predominately, however, that there has been a significant change in the

law that justifies modification of the decree. A consent decree must be modified if “one or more

of the obligations placed on the parties has become impermissible under federal law . . . and may

be warranted when the statutory or decisional law has changed to make legal what the decree

was designed to prevent.” Rufo, 502 U.S. at 388. Neither of these two scenarios has occurred.

The IDEA has not materially changed. CPS is still required to educate children with disabilities

in the least restrictive environment. The IDEA still prohibits segregating children needing

special education services based on the categories of their disabilities, which was the primary

violation addressed by the Consent Decree. Thus, there has been no “change” in the underlying

substantive law that justifies revision or, as CPS requests, revocation of the consent decree.

Nevertheless, CPS argues that the Supreme Court’s decisions in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v.

Dukes, ___ U.S. __, 131 S.Ct. 2541 (2011), and more specifically, the Seventh Circuit’s decision

in Jamie S. represent a significant change in the law of class certification justifying its Rule

60(b) motion. The court disagrees.

First, it hardly needs stating that neither Dukes nor Jamie S. “changed” the law on class

certification. Class certification is still governed by Fed. R. Civ. P. 23, and the requirements of

that rule have not changed substantively since Judge Leinenweber certified the instant class, and

have not changed at all since November 2010 when CPS agreed to the extension of the decree.

Indeed, both Dukes and Jamie S. specifically reaffirm that class certification is governed by Rule

23, and each analyzed the proposed class under the well-established mandates of that rule.

Dukes, 131 S.Ct. at 2548 (“Class certification is governed by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure

23.”); Jamie S., 668 F.3d at 493 (“A district court may certify a class for class-action treatment

only if it satisfies the four requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a) . . . and one of

the conditions of Rule 23(b).”). The two cases represent nothing more than the application of

Rule 23 to specific sets of facts or, perhaps, to a specific type of claim under two distinct federal

laws – Title VII and the IDEA – both of which provide for individual equitable relief in addition

to injunctive relief.

Thus, while Dukes and Jamie S. may represent clarifications of law, they do not represent

a change in law that requires modification of this consent decree. The Supreme Court’s caution

in Rufo is especially appropriate here: “[t]o hold that a clarification in the law automatically

opens the door for relitigation of the merits of every affected consent decree would undermine

the finality of such agreements and could serve as a disincentive to negotiation of settlements in

institutional reform litigation.” Rufo, 502 U.S. at 389. Under CPS’s theory, after Dukes and

Jamie S., every class-wide consent decree (or at least those remedying alleged violations of Title

VII and the IDEA) would be subject to review under Rule 60(b). That is not the law, nor is it the

intention of the Supreme Court or the Seventh Circuit.

Nonetheless, Rufo does note that “while a decision that clarifies the law will not, in and

of itself, provide a basis for modifying a decree, it could constitute a change in circumstances

that would support modification if the parties had based their agreement on a misunderstanding

of the governing law.” Rufo, 502 U.S. at 390. To avail itself of this language CPS appears to

argue that the instant class would not be certifiable under Jamie S. and, had CPS known that

back in 1993, it would not have agreed to the settlement and would have continued to segregate

special needs students based on categories of their disabilities in violation of the IDEA.

Nonsense.

Moreover, the procedural and factual posture of Jamie S. is so radically different from the

instant case that it cannot possibly serve as a basis for vacating the Consent Decree. First, unlike

CPS, the defendant in Jamie S. (the Milwaukee Public Schools) had never consented to a

settlement or anything else that acknowledged class-wide relief. Instead, the state education

agency had reached a settlement with plaintiffs and attempted to force that settlement, including

a contested class certification, on the Milwaukee Public Schools. In the instant case, as noted

above, CPS agreed to a class-wide settlement that incorporated relief for the class that had been

certified by Judge Leinenweber, and has operated under that agreement in excess of fourteen

years.

Equally important, unlike Jamie S., the identity of the class members in the instant case is

not indefinite at all from CPS’s viewpoint, because CPS itself controls that membership. Once

again, Judge Leinenweber’s order granting class certification defines the class as those students

“classified as having a disability by [CPS] .” Thus, it is only after CPS makes such a

classification that a child joins the certified class – a notion that CPS has understood and

operated under throughout the history of the administration of its Consent Decree. Thus, unlike

Jamie S., in the instant case membership in the class is easily defined: CPS itself makes that

classification on a student-by-student basis, as it is required to do under the IDEA. Nothing

could be simpler. Any child who is not classified as having a disability by CPS is simply not a

member of the class.

Also, unlike Jamie S., the Corey H. Consent Decree does not contemplate individual

remedial relief. Any child, or his or her parents, who disagrees with CPS’s classification has a

right to contest the classification individually by instituting “due process proceedings” under the

IDEA. 20 U.S.C. §1415. Any such individual contest is wholly outside the Consent Decree or

this case, and the parties have never contended otherwise. Indeed, both the ISBE Settlement

Agreement (Doc. 164, § 51(g)) and the CPS Settlement Agreement (Doc. 124, § 76(h))

specifically provide that any individual complaint by plaintiffs must be “limited to systemic

issues and may not be used to resolve individual complaints.” (Emphasis added.) In fact, there

have likely been thousands of due process hearings in the Chicago system under the IDEA

during the course of this litigation.

For these reasons, CPS’s argument that the class certification violates the commonality

requirement of Rule 23(a) is meritless. Plaintiffs have attacked only systemic failures and

district-wide policies that apply to every member of the certified class (children who have been

classified by CPS as having a disability). A quick reading of the CPS Settlement Agreement and

the Implementation Plan makes this crystal clear. Unlike in Jamie S., children who are classified

by CPS as having a disability are automatically members of the class, and do not have to opt-in

and make “a claim for entitlement to compensatory education.” Jamie S., 668 F.3d at 499. As

the Seventh Circuit noted in Jamie S., the Supreme Court’s decision in Dukes, 131 S.Ct. at 2552-

54, indicates that an illegal policy that applies to the entire class “provide[s] the ‘glue’ necessary

to litigate otherwise highly individualized claims as a class.” 668 F.3d at 498.

Finally, the remedial scheme in Jamie S. required the Milwaukee school district to craft

“compensatory-education remedies,” an equitable remedy unique to IDEA claims that

reimburses the out-of-pocket education expenses incurred by children who are improperly

delayed or denied entry into special education programs. Jamie S., 668 F.3d at 485.

“Reimbursement of out-of-pocket educational expenses is similar in kind to the equitable back

pay remedy at issue in Dukes – both are forms of monetary relief that require determinations of

each class member’s individual circumstances.” N.B. ex rel. Buchanan v. Hamos, 2012 WL

1953146, at *10 (N.D. Ill. May 30, 2012). The Seventh Circuit therefore held that class

certification under Rule 23(b)(2) was inappropriate, concluding that “[w]hile the compensatoryeducation

remedies will often or always be injunctive in nature, there can be no single injunction

that provides final relief to the class as a whole.” Jamie S., 668 F.3d at 499.

The remedy scheme agreed to by the parties in the instant case provides no such

individualized relief. Once again, in the instant case, unlike Jamie S. but like McReynolds v.

Merrill Lynch, 672 F.3d 482 (7th Cir. 2012), plaintiffs’ claims are based on systemic failures

and, even more strongly than in McReynolds, the defendant now seeking to decertify the class

agreed to systemic reforms that specifically eliminated the types of individual issues that led to

the Jamie S. decision. In short, Jamie S. does not justify or compel decertifying the Corey H.

class or vacating the Consent Decree.

CONCLUSION

For the foregoing reasons, CPS’s motion to vacate the Consent Decree (Doc. 852) is

denied. Because briefing on CPS’s “second” Rule 60 motion to vacate (as recently

supplemented) has been stayed pending this ruling, the court will set a briefing schedule at the

next status hearing on July 27, 2012.

ENTER: July 19, 2012

__________________________________________

Robert W. Gettleman

United States District Judge

NOTES.

[1] 20 U.S.C. §1412(5)(B).

[2] Corey H. v. Bd. of Educ. of City of Chicago, 995 F.Supp. 900, 903 (N.D. Ill. 1998).

[3]The Settlement Agreement was approved by the court after conducting a fairness hearing

on January 16, 1998 (Docs. 123-127.) The parties and the court sometimes refer to the

Settlement Agreements with CPS and ISBE and the orders approving them as the “Consent

Decrees,” the term that will be used hereafter in this opinion.

[4] The original court-appointed Monitor was Judge Joseph Schneider, formerly presiding

judge of the County Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County that included the Mental

Health Division. After Judge Schneider’s retirement in 2003, the court appointed Kathleen

Yannias, who has been serving continuously since then.

[5] The Monitor has issued her report on the ISBE’s compliance with its obligations under

its Settlement Agreement, and the parties are currently engaged in briefing responses and

objections to that report.

[6] On March 5, 2012, CPS filed another motion under Rule 60 to vacate based on

“substantial compliance” with its Settlement Agreement and Consent Decree (Doc. 852), which

CPS recently supplemented with a lengthy memorandum directed to the Education Connection

portion of the Consent Decree. (Doc. 877.) The court has continued this motion until it ruled on

the instant motion. Since both these motions to vacate were filed under Fed. R. Civ. P. 60, the

court fails to understand why they were not filed as a single motion, but nevertheless has

honored CPS’s decision to treat them separately.

[7] The court has determined that oral argument is not necessary.



Comments:

July 24, 2012 at 10:47 AM

By: Anthony Smith

But our Mayor, CEO, & CPS, care about the children...

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his CEO and CPS continuously tell the media how much they "care about the children." Their BIG BUSINESS buddies who want control of the Chicago PUBLIC school system run their adds on the radio telling us to text in if we want a longer school day.

And they tell us they have no additional money to pay for the additional time. Yet they spend every single penny, so they say, of their budget intentionally to drain it and Moody's steps in to downgrade their borrowing power.

But the Mayor and CPS seem to have lots of money to open up new charter schools. They say they have a waiting list of parents and students signed up. But they cannot show anyone, including the media, this most likely non-existent list. (Reminiscent of Senator McCarthy holding up a piece of paper during the height of the Communist Cold War Scare. Senator McCarthy never showed a list of names, indeed his personal secretary stated that it was a grocery list he held up!)And the CPS Board has even stated, earlier, that it's enrollment at Charter schools was less than it had hoped for!

So, those in POWER, who claim they CARE ABOUT THE CHILDREN:

why are you assaulting them by attacking Corey H?

why are you spending money on this, especially when the judge basically says that you are ridiculous for doing so?

where are you getting the money to pursue this nonsensical court case? We know, we know, taxpayer dollars, of course, but how can you have this money available when you claim to have no more money???

I believe you have to be at the low end of the ethical and spiritual spectrum to be attacking Corey H. and I believe you have to be at the low end of the spectrum in regards to common sense and intellectual capacity to take this case to court in the manner in which you took it. Perhaps you guys got a private school education???

And why isn't this in the mainstream news!? Yet another example of waste, misuse of time, management, money, and an outright assault on the very children that the Mayor and his cronies keep saying they care so much about!

July 24, 2012 at 4:28 PM

By: Rod Estvan

Corey H litigation costs will go up

John's report in relation to the costs of this latest litigation is of importance. But on top of what Shefsky and Froelich may get paid to represent the defendants — and it may go higher than $250,000 — the plaintiffs' counsel will also bill CPS since they won and deserve to get paid for their time spent on the CPS motion.

It is also possible CPS may appeal this decision to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, and that will cost still more money. The case that CPS is using, Jamie S., is seen by not just by CPS but many school districts as the great hope to putting an end to class action litigation for students with disabilities in urban centers around the nation. There are some out there that would like to see the case go all the way up to the Supreme Court.

I hope if the case is appealed up, the 7th Circuit does not see the Jamie S decision like CPS is currently viewing it. Because if they do the legal ability of advocacy organizations to litigate beyond the individual level would be greatly limited. State agencies simply do not want to enforce special education regulations because enforcement costs money, and here in Illinois the ISBE has been cut so many times that there are partly empty floors in its main offices in Springfield; and there are also entire sections of its Chicago office where the lights are never turned on any more.

Rod Estvan

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