The U.S. Supreme Court recently requested the Bush Administration’s opinion on whether public-school districts should be obliged to pay for special-education placements in unaccredited private schools chosen by parents. The Florence County, S.C., school district, along with the National School Boards Association and nine states, appealed to the High Court to reverse lower-court decisions in the case. The district was compelled to reimburse parents who opted to place their child with learning disabilities in an unapproved private school after a disagreement over her personalized education program. The N.S.B.A. cautioned that these rulings, including those in the South Carolina case, have led to an increase in parents seeking private-school placements at public cost, therefore depleting funds from special-education services.
The N.S.B.A. stated in legal documents that the case is another illustration of parents being granted veto power over their child’s placement. On May 18, the High Court issued a brief order, urging the U.S. Solicitor General to provide the federal government’s perspective in Florence County School District v. Carter (Case No. 91-1523). This request indicates that the Justices are considering taking up the case, but would like to hear the Administration’s views on the federal law in question, the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, or I.D.E.A., before making a decision. Under a Supreme Court ruling in Burlington School Committee v. Massachusetts Department of Education in 1985, dissatisfied parents can unilaterally place their child in a private school and are entitled to tuition reimbursement if it is ultimately determined that the public-school education was inadequate. The main issue in the South Carolina case is whether such reimbursements are necessary when parents choose private schools that do not meet state standards or have not been approved for special-education placements.
The case revolves around a young woman who was diagnosed with a learning disability in 1985 by officials at the Florence County school. The parents contested her personalized program in federal court while enrolling her in a private school for children with learning disabilities. A U.S. district judge later ruled that the school district had failed to provide the girl with a free and appropriate education under the I.D.E.A., and that the private school had indeed provided her with an appropriate education, based on her progress there. The judge ordered that the parents be reimbursed over $35,000 for three years of expenses. Last year, a panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which included retired Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr., determined that the I.D.E.A. does not require parents to select a state-approved institution.
In a separate action, the High Court has agreed to decide whether states must issue refunds for taxes collected that were later deemed to be unconstitutional. This question has significant implications for states like Virginia, which may have to refund millions of dollars to federal retirees if the High Court rules against them in Harper v. Virginia Department of Taxation (No. 91-794). Virginia and several other states used to discriminate between public employee pension income, taxing federal retirees while exempting retired state and local government workers. This practice was declared unconstitutional by the High Court in 1989, but whether refunds for the illegal tax were required remained unresolved. The total amount of liability for states in the event of having to refund such taxes has been estimated by state groups to be over $2 billion. Virginia, with the largest number of federal retirees of any state, would face the highest refund bill for the illegal taxes, amounting to an estimated $440 million. If the case is lost, state officials predict that there will be a proportional reduction in funds for public schools, law enforcement, corrections, social programs, and various other state services. The case will be argued during the next term.
Lastly, the High Court has upheld a ruling by New York’s highest court that state labor law can exempt religious schools from contributing to the unemployment-insurance system. This law was challenged by a former English teacher at a Jewish high school in New York City who was denied unemployment compensation after losing her job.
Your objective is to rephrase the entire content using enhanced vocabulary and ensure it is original and written in a natural language. The given text is as follows: