declares education through the secondary level shall be free
and of high quality.
William challenges defendants' policy (the "Policy") of
disclaiming any obligation to finance "related services" that
primarily serve the handicapped student's noneducational needs,
even when such services are also critical to his or her ability
to benefit from an education. That disclaimer had its genesis
in the August 1980 Memorandum of Understanding (the
"Memorandum") executed by ISBE and several other state agencies
that provide noneducational assistance to disabled individuals.
That Memorandum (1) defines categories of handicapped children
whose needs are considered primarily "noneducational" and (2)
absolves ISBE and local school districts from any financial
responsibility as to the noneducational facets of residential
placements, regardless of whether another state agency supplies
the requisite funding.
State defendants concede the existence of the Policy but argue
it does not interfere with ISBE's performance of its state and
federal law duties. Local school districts attempt to make
"related services" available to handicapped children whose
needs are primarily noneducational, as defined in the
Memorandum, by convening a "multidisciplinary staff conference"
to evaluate the needs of each such child.*fn5
Multidisciplinary staff conferences are attended by
"representatives of the appropriate state agencies" who
"provide technical assistance and a preliminary assessment of
the eligibility of the student to services of that state
agency" (Gill Aff. ¶ 2).
William is a twelve-year-old suffering from severe multiple
handicaps: moderate to profound bilateral hearing loss, mild to
moderate functional mental retardation and spastic quadriplegia
affecting his left side. William suffers up to three to four
grand mal seizures per day, though he is on medications that at
least to some degree suppress the outward symptoms of the
seizures (Geraldine Dep. 96-97, 103).
When William moved to District 220 with his mother Geraldine,
District 220 eventually convened a multidisciplinary staff
conference to consider his case.*fn6 As Opinion III, 572
F. Supp. at 515 found, William's multidisciplinary staff
conference did indeed lead to an offer to William of free
residential placement, the only question open for trial on that
score being whether that proffered placement was "appropriate."
Geraldine was of the opinion it was not, and she placed William
at the Institute of Logopedics (the "Institute") in Wichita,
When it became clear William could not obtain state funding for
his placement at the Institute, William (through Geraldine)
filed a two-count complaint, the current version of which is
the Second Amended Complaint (the "Complaint"):
1. Count I seeks on behalf of William and a class of
similarly situated handicapped children declaratory and
injunctive relief that would essentially prevent defendants
from continuing to adhere to the Policy.
2. Count II seeks reimbursement for the cost of William's
placement at the Institute, an injunction requiring
defendants to fund that placement until William turns 22,
attorneys' fees and $500,000 in damages.
Both counts charge defendants' Policy-based refusal to fund
William's placement at the Institute violates William's rights