COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The U.S. Education Department has denied South Carolina's request to further appeal a $36 million penalty for not spending enough on special education during the economic downturn.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan dismissed the case in a six-page order he sent to state officials.
South Carolina schools chief Mick Zais said Monday he's left with no choice but to pursue solutions through the courts and Congress. He says the process is symbolic of Washington-style red tape.
The cut in federal money is a punishment for the state not spending enough on students with disabilities in the 2009-10 school year. The penalty was initially set to start last October. But the federal agency delayed the punishment by a year.
Zais appealed the penalty and asked for a hearing.
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