Jeff Spitzer-Resnick says the case could spur the Madison school district to offer 4-year-old kindergarten and amp up its assistance to dozens of families.
“My clients can afford preschool,” says Spitzer-Resnick, an attorney with Disability Rights Wisconsin, a nonprofit public-interest law firm. “The people who most need help and most stand to benefit are the ones who can’t.”
Spitzer-Resnick is representing the parents of a 4-year-old special needs child. A district evaluation in mid-2007 determined that the child qualified for special education services, as is mandated for 3- and 4-year-olds by state and federal law.
But the Madison district does not offer 4-year-old kindergarten and has only nominal programming for kids in this category. And so the parents (whom Isthmus is not naming to protect their child’s privacy) asked Disability Rights Wisconsin to argue that the district must pay the costs of a private preschool they used as an alternative.