IM this article to a friend!

November 14, 2002

District settles lawsuit

From: Jefferson City News Tribune, MO
Nov. 14, 2002

Confidentiality agreement leaves patrons wondering if tax funds paid out

News Tribune

Jefferson City's School Board members on Monday night agreed to settle a lawsuit filed against the district earlier this year.

Superintendent Bert Kimble said this morning the board agreed to the settlement during a closed-door executive session.

Terms of the agreement are confidential and can't be reported, he said.

"It was settled to both parties' satisfaction," Kimble said.

Kimble also said the terms prevented him from saying whether the settlement included any spending of district funds as part of the agreement.

Because an individually identifiable student and records were involved, Kimble also said he could not identify the specific case that was being settled.

But the only case pending against the district in the Cole County Circuit Court was a lawsuit filed in late July by Brad and Karen Werner.

The most recent docket entry in the case file was approval of the school board's request for a Dec. 2 status hearing, and there was nothing in the file showing that any settlement had been reached.

In the seven-page lawsuit, the Werners challenged a state ruling in June that the school district didn't have to pay for the Werners' decision in August 2001 to send their hearing-impaired son to a private school in St. Louis, for training in using his cochlear implant.

The Werners had asked Circuit Judge Thomas J. Brown III to reverse a 60-page decision by a three-member "Due Process" hearing panel of the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

After holding hearings in November 2001 and March 2002, the panel had said the district provided the Werners' son, who now is 9, with an appropriate education as required by the federal Individuals With Disabilities Act and a similar state law.

In addition to overturning the state panel's decision, the Werners wanted the court to award attorneys fees and other legal costs.

All Contents © Copyright 2002 News Tribune Co. All rights reserved.