Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1943636
 
 

Footnotes (374)



 


 



Special Education, Poverty, and the Limits of Private Enforcement


Eloise Pasachoff


Georgetown University Law Center

2011

Notre Dame Law Review, Vol. 86, No. 4, 2011
Georgetown Law and Economics Research Paper No. 11-24
Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. 11-125

Abstract:     
This Article examines the appropriate balance between public and private enforcement of statutes seeking to distribute resources or social services to a socioeconomically diverse set of beneficiaries through a case study of the federal special education law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). It focuses particularly on the extent to which the Act’s enforcement regime sufficiently enforces the law for the poor. The Article responds to the frequent contention that private enforcement of statutory regimes is necessary to compensate for the shortcomings of public enforcement. Public enforcement, the story goes, is inefficient and relies on underfunded, captured, or impotent government agencies, while private parties are appropriately incentivized to act as private attorneys general. This Article challenges that argument as not applicable to all circumstances. Instead, it uses the IDEA to identify certain features of institutional design that can make heavy reliance on private enforcement lead to predictable disparities in enforcement in favor of wealthier beneficiaries as opposed to poor beneficiaries, in contravention of the stated goals of some statutes. These features of institutional design include universal rather than means-tested service provision distributed by relying on nontransparent, nonprecedential, private bargaining over a highly individualized system where the contours of the right are determined through significant amounts of agency discretion. Where these features are present, the Article argues, greater attention to public enforcement, as opposed to private enforcement, is likely to be necessary if the goal is to avoid enforcement disparities in favor of wealthier beneficiaries. Alternatively, modifying these features may reduce enforcement disparities and make public enforcement less necessary.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 83

Keywords: special education, poverty, individuals with disabilites education act (IDEA), public enforcement, private enforcement

JEL Classification: K19, K00, K39

Accepted Paper Series





Download This Paper

Date posted: October 14, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Pasachoff, Eloise, Special Education, Poverty, and the Limits of Private Enforcement (2011). Notre Dame Law Review, Vol. 86, No. 4, 2011; Georgetown Law and Economics Research Paper No. 11-24; Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. 11-125. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1943636

Contact Information

Eloise Pasachoff (Contact Author)
Georgetown University Law Center ( email )
600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 1,030
Downloads: 124
Download Rank: 137,817
Footnotes:  374

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo7 in 0.281 seconds