By ROBERT BECKER, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) A lawsuit filed Friday by a Virginia school district over a $200,000 contract with an exchange student school could cost the district more than $2.5 million.
The lawsuit claims the contract violates state and federal laws prohibiting discrimination against students who attend a public school and who have qualified as disabled.
The district has not yet filed a response.
The settlement is the result of a yearlong lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia.
In the lawsuit, the ACLU alleged that the school district had awarded $300,000 in the first year and another $300 and $350,000 after that.
The school district did not return phone messages left at its Richmond headquarters.
The state Department of Education said it was reviewing the suit.
The Associated Press is not naming the school because it would disclose sensitive personnel information.
The ACLU says the school’s website states that it is a “public charter school” with an enrollment of 1,000 students and offers “training, internship and career opportunities to adults with disabilities and to students with disabilities who have completed or are completing the coursework requirements.”
The school was established in 2014 and has been a leader in the exchange student program.
It has had more than 1,500 students enroll since it opened.
The Virginia Department of Health, Education and Welfare said in a statement that the state is in the process of reviewing the lawsuit.
In a statement, the school says the district “takes all claims of discrimination very seriously and we have been very responsive to the ACLU request.”