Anne Arundel Schools Spend $30K To Deny Family $3k Test

Anne Arundel Schools Spend $30K To Deny Family $3k Test

As a military family, the Davises are used to moving. In the past 20 years, Sarah and her husband Matt, have moved 10 times. They’ve lived in states like Texas, Nevada, Kansas, and now Anne Arundel County, Maryland.

“We have not experienced this type of difficulty in any of the other states that we lived in. It's been the most difficult here,” says Davis.

Last year, Lilli Davis was in 7th grade and falling behind.

“I want her to have a bright future that she's prepared for, and I want her to be able to pursue her dreams,” says Sarah, Lilli’s mother.

Anne Arundel County Public Schools tested Lilli for learning disabilities, but the Davises didn’t agree with the results. When the family asked for a second outside opinion, the school said no.

“I think there's a financial reason,” says Davis. “I don't think they want to expend the resources on our kids with disabilities.”

When parents ask for an independent test for a child’s disability, the school system can pay it. Anne Arundel County Schools, instead, filed a due process complaint, which took the case to court.

It was a decision that cost taxpayers and the Davis family a lot of money.

The independent test that the Davises asked for cost $2,800. But according to a public records request, Anne Arundel County Schools has spent about $31,000 in legal fees, which would pay for nearly 11 tests. But the biggest cost is what this has done to the Davis family. Their legal bills so far amount to nearly $50,000.

“We have not paid that amount at this point, but that's what the legal fee accrual is” says Davis. “We don't have $50,000 to pay at the moment.”

Fox45 contacted Anne Arundel Schools requesting an interview to discuss how the District handles due process claims. We received this statement from Bob Mosier, AACPS Chief Communications Officer:

"A decision to proceed to a due process hearing is not commonplace and is not taken lightly. Such decisions are very fact specific and dependent on both the request and the best interests of the student."

And that’s what Sarah wants too - the best for her daughter. But she will have to fight for it, and she’ll have to do it alone.

Major Matt Davis was recently deployed to Afghanistan.

16:03 “He's going to fight for our freedom,” says Davis. “He's going to fight for the very freedom that my daughter is being denied. The very rights that she's not getting from the school system.”

The family ended up paying the $2,800 themselves for that independent test and learned Lilli is dyslexic, which Davis says the school system did not diagnose.

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