Matt Plain and Greg Vanden-Eykel education decision noted in Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly

Barton Gilman attorneys, Matthew R. Plain and Greg Vanden-Eykel, recently obtained a favorable decision on behalf of their client, which was covered as the headline article, “Regional school district must reimburse ‘Met’ tech school,” in the March 11, 2019 issue of Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly.

The article discusses the recent Providence Superior Court holding that the Rhode Island Council on Elementary and Secondary Education correctly ordered a school district to reimburse a career and technical school for the attendance of district residents.

The district had declined the school’s request for reimbursement for residents who enrolled at the school during the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years, arguing that students are required to request permission from their local school district in order to attend a career and technical program and that none of its resident-students had done so. The district also claimed that it should have had the opportunity to review the school’s certification as a career and technical school.

The firm’s client is the only career and technical school authorized in the state to offer an Individual Vocational Studies program, allowing students to work with faculty, mentors and parents to create individualized education plans to support their future career goals. The school has campuses in Providence and Newport, but serves students throughout the state, including those residing in the school district.

“This Court determines that the Council’s decision affirming the Commissioner’s decision and finding that the District is required to reimburse the Met School for the Chariho students who were enrolled at [the Met School] during the 2012-2013 school year is not clearly erroneous,” Judge William E. Carnes Jr wrote. “If such payments are not made, the General Treasurer shall deduct the amount owed from the District’s state aid pursuant to § 16-7-31.”

The decision, Chariho Regional School District v. Rhode Island Council on Elementary and Secondary Education, et al., can be found here.

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