COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina Schools Superintendent Mick Zais says congressional action averted the continuation of a $36 million federal punishment over special education spending.
A clause inserted in a stopgap spending bill approved Thursday by the U.S. House repeals the penalty slated to continue perpetually.
The state Education Department is set to argue in federal court Friday its challenge to the punishment over recession-era budget cuts. Arguments are before the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The hearing will continue, as Zais hopes to recover the $36 million lost in the current budget year.
But the inserted provision means the state's worst possible outcome is that reduction will stand, provided President Obama signs the bill.
Zais says the action repeals the absurd perpetual penalty and is a victory for students with disabilities.