The U.S. Department of Education has scheduled a December hearing to take up Virginia Tech's appeal of fines it received for failing to notify campus sooner during a 2007 shooting rampage in which a student killed 32 students and faculty.
Department spokeswoman Sara Gast said the hearing will take place Dec. 7-9. Several survivors and victims' family members plan to travel to Washington to testify.
The school appealed the $55,000 sanction in April. Virginia Tech officials have denied wrongdoing, saying the department is holding them to higher standards than were in place the day of the shootings.
"The relatively small monetary penalty is not the reason for this appeal," Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli said in a statement to the AP. "The university has already expended millions as a result of the tragedy. The main purpose of the appeal is to compel the federal Department of Education to treat Virginia Tech fairly and to apply a very poorly defined and subjectively applied federal law consistently and correctly."