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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 1:12 p.m., Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Felix Consent Decree terminated

Advertiser Staff

Twelve years of federal court supervision over how the state provides public education services to students with mental and emotional disabilities has ended.

The announcement of the milestone came today, with State Attorney General Mark Bennett saying the departments of Education and Health have "made dramatic and effective changes to the system" and dramatically increased the services available to special education students.

What came to be known as the Felix Consent Decree grew out of a lawsuit filed in 1993 on behalf of then-student Jennifer Felix. The case subsequently grew into a class-action lawsuit on behalf of all learning-disabled children in Hawai'i.

In 1994, an out-of-court settlement was reached and the consent decree was implemented.

Today's announcement marks the end of the consent decree.