Classic cars and the people who love them gathered at Market Fest at Eagan's Central Park.

Appeals Court Rules Against Blind Student

   A federal appeals court dealt a blow to special education students this week, affirming the dismissal of a blind student’s lawsuit against Eastview High School and School District 196 related to the provision of instructional materials in braille.
   The student, identified only by initials I.Z.M., and his parents sued Eastview High School and the school district after repeat lapses in providing instructional materials in braille, according to the opinion. A brief filed by the student’s law firm indicated such failures occurred up to 20 percent of the time, about one out of five school days.
   Federal law requires school districts provide students with a free appropriate public education (FAPE). Parents and school districts, however, don’t always agree what is appropriate. The courts in this case found that “appropriate” doesn’t always mean perfect.
   The lower court found that, although there may have been issues in providing braille materials for the blind student, the school had met its overall obligations. On appeal, the student argued the federal district court had applied the wrong legal standard.
   The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed.
   “We conclude that Minn. Stat. § 125A.06(d), by its plain language, does not impose a heightened standard that burdens school districts with an absolute obligation to guarantee that each blind student will use the Braille instruction provided to attain a specific level of proficiency,” the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals wrote. “Rather, the obligation enforceable under the IDEA is to provide, if the [the student’s individualized education plan] so requires, instruction that is ‘sufficient to enable’ the child to attain the specified level of proficiency. That is consistent with generally applicable IDEA standards.”

Eagan fighting splash pad, pickleball envy

   Fun is serious business in Eagan. 
   The city’s parks officials are considering plans to bring a splash pad, pickle ball courts, and other amenities to Eagan, according to a presentation at the parks commission meeting this week.
   A splash pad was the number one request of local residents, prompting parks officials to investigate the cost and possible location for the amenity. Currently, Eagan residents have to travel to Apple Valley or other communities to take their children to such a water park.
   A cost estimate for installing a splash pad in Central Park, which would make it available as part of Fourth of July Funfest, is $382,000.
   The city is continuing to explore funding options after a recent grant application was denied.  
   Eagan is also hoping to add pickleball courts to local parks. The commission noted the popularity of the paddle sport, particularly among senior citizens. Because of impending construction of senior housing in the Quarry Park area, the city is considering adding up to 8 pickle ball courts to that park.
   The commission also discussed a private developer’s plan to build a domed sports facility near the new Vikings practice area. The city could potentially lease land for the dome, bringing revenue to the city without the expense of building the dome.
   The commission is expected to finalize a list of proposed capital improvements to submit to the city council in September.