03/28/2008 02:45 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Tom Freston Wins Special Education Appeal Against New York City

The United States Supreme Court this morning affirmed a lower court's ruling that New York City must reimburse wealthy parents who sent their learning-disabled son to a private school before trying a program offered by the public schools.

The justices issued a split 4-to-4 decision in the case, New York City Board of Education v. Tom F., meaning a lower court's ruling in favor of the plaintiff, the former Viacom chief executive Tom Freston, stands. The decision was announced in a two-sentence statement issued by the court this morning.

Because of the split ruling, the decision does not establish a precedent for similar cases in the future. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy did not take part in today's decision. No explanation was given for Justice Kennedy's absence from the case.

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