Ever since the State of Michigan created the controversial Education Achievement Authority (EAA) to take over failing schools in Detroit, there have been complaints that students with disabilities are not receiving adequate special education services.  The EAA outsourced special education services to a for-profit company called Futures Education of Michigan, paying the company millions of taxpayer dollars to serve our most vulnerable children.  Details regarding this private company’s actual services, however, remained elusive. 

After the EAA failed to provide public records regarding its contract with and oversight over Futures, the ACLU of Michigan filed a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act in 2015 to obtain the documents.  The EAA failed to respond to the lawsuit, and in July 2015, a judge ordered the EAA to turn over the requested records.  Only some of the requested records were produced, however, and the litigation continued. 

In April 2017, the court ruled again in the ACLU’s favor, ordered the EAA to turn over additional documents, and awarded the ACLU attorneys’ fees. 

(Tolbert v. Michigan Education Achievement Authority; Cooperating Attorney Ralph Simpson.)

Read our Fall 2018 Legal Docket.