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Federal Judge Rules That Homeless Pennsylvania Brothers Must Be Allowed Back Into School

Two Pennsylvania brothers who were kicked out of school after becoming homeless have been allowed to re-enroll.

U.S. District Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg ruled on Thursday that Easton County schools must allow the homeless brothers back into school.

Maura McInerney, an attorney with the Education Law Center of Pennsylvania, said the boys will be allowed to attend school until the court makes a final ruling regarding the district’s decision.

“We’re very happy,” McInerney told The Morning Call. “This is a positive step in the right direction for these students.”

McInerney commended the judge’s decision, adding that re-enrolling will allow the students the “stability of remaining in the same school while an outcome is pending.”

“We consider this a very positive step,” she added.

The brothers, whose names have not been released to the public, have reportedly been living in a trailer outside of the Easton Area School District. The boys are in 8th and 12th grade, and are both special education students.

According to local newspaper Lehigh Valley Times, the boys and their parents were forced to move to a campground outside of the district when their house was foreclosed in 2011. Since then, the family has been living in a 9-year-old, 24-by-7-foot camper that was once used for vacations. The boys’ mother reportedly works for the school district part-time.

The Education Law Center of Pennsylvania reportedly filed a 23-page lawsuit Tuesday on behalf of the two students.

District solicitor John Freund cited financial reasons for initially expelling the two students.

“The education of the children is an expensive proposition borne largely by the taxpayers of each district,” Freund said. “The question of entitlement by way of residency to a free and public education is something that is very closely scrutinized.”

“The district has agreed that the children may return to school while a permanent resolution is found,” he added in an email.

The Huffington Post reported that the number of homeless students attending public schools reached an all-time high of 1.1 million in the 2011-2012 school year.

Sources: The Morning CallLehigh Valley Times, The Huffington Post


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