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Education Decisions Await as High Court Term Nears End

The U.S. Supreme Court today entered what are likely to be the final two weeks of its 2008-09 term without issuing any rulings in three important education cases pending before the justices.

The court will sit again this Thursday, June 18, and its work will extend into at least next week, with the end of the term possible by the end of that week. (The court doesn't announce its final day until a day or two beforehand.)

The education community is awaiting rulings in Horne v. Flores, about the adequacy of Arizona's spending on English-language learners (my key blog items here and here); Safford Unified School District v. Redding, about the constitutionality of a strip-search of a middle school student by school officials looking for drugs (blog posts here and here); and Forest Grove School District v. T.A., about when school districts must reimburse parents for the private school tuition of a child with a disability (posts here and here).

Meanwhile, the court granted review today of a case involving student loans and bankruptcy.

The justices agreed to hear the appeal of a lender whose student loans totaling $13,250 to an Arizona man were discharged by a bankruptcy court, even though federal law says student loans cannot be written off in bankruptcy except in cases of "undue hardship" proven in an adversary proceeding.

A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, in San Francisco, ruled last year that the lender had received notice of the debtor's plan to discharge some of his student loan obligations in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding and did not object to it.

The appeal is United Student Aid Funds v. Espinosa (Case No. 08-1134).

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