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Military Families Take Fight For Special Education To Capitol Hill

[Source: Disability Scoop]

WASHINGTON — U.S. Navy spouse Michelle Norman is no stranger among military families fighting school districts and the Defense Department for essential educational opportunities for their children with special needs.

Norman and her husband, Navy Capt. Cassidy Norman, have spent about six years and $220,000 in a legal battle against the Virginia Beach School District — first to get their daughter who has disabilities into private school, and now to keep her there.

Marisa Norman, 16, has 21 diagnosed disabilities, including cerebral palsy, partial paralysis and neurodevelopmental and neurological disorders. She regressed after attending fifth grade in Virginia Beach public school but has flourished in private school. Because of a federal law that requires schools to provide every child a free and appropriate public education, the Virginia Beach School District is paying her private-school tuition. The district is now arguing that it can provide Marisa with a good public education, but the Normans disagree.

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