A 26-year-old lawsuit over special education services in Baltimore public schools is drawing to a close after an agreement was reached this week that is expected to allow a federal judge to end oversight of the program by fall of 2012.

The lawsuit filed against the Baltimore schools in 1984 by the Maryland Disability Law Center on behalf of a number of special education students claimed that students were not receiving appropriate educational services.

At issue was everything from student evaluations for special education, to educational services for children in the program and even transportation for such students.

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In an agreement approved by U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis this week, the two sides say the lawsuit will end by September 2012 if the schools meet certain requirements. Specifically, the schools must provide special education students proper services and supports and take steps to reduce the number of such students who are suspended.

Over the years, control of the Baltimore schools changed hands numerous times before the state took some control in 2005, leading to administrative changes that many credit for bringing the lawsuit to an end, reports the Baltimore Sun. To read more click here.