Pete Wright, the Godfather of Special Education law, has often been quoted saying, “Unless you are prepared to remove your child from public school forever, you need to view your relationship with the school as a marriage without the possibility of divorce.” While this may be true regarding the School relationship, this isn’t the case for individual members of the IEP Team. IEP Team members change frequently and it’s amazing how adding or removing one person from the IEP Team can make a huge difference in the quality and implementation of an IEP. While the Parents are not normally in control of the IEP team members from the School, there are methods the Parents can use to add or remove members. Read the rest of this entry →
You are browsing the archive for 2011 October.
Those of us with younger children have spent the past several years worrying about getting them through elementary school, but there comes a time when we have to think about the next phase…..Middle School! I’m sure I’m not the only parent who is concerned about whether my child is adequately prepared to handle the Middle School environment. As we all remember from our own experience, it’s a whole new world! The campus is larger, the class sizes are bigger and teachers expect students to be able to be responsible for their homework assignments and work independently without constant adult supervision. However, for the student who has organization, planning, or off task behavior problems, they might have difficulty functioning in their new environment. For those parents who have children still in elementary school and are already struggling in these areas, it’s a good idea to add Pre-Vocational Goals to their IEP’s. The purpose of Pre-Vocational Goals is to help train children in specific measurable skill building tasks. For some, the ability to organize, plan or stay on task in class does not come naturally to them. Pre-Vocational Goals can help a student learn how to master these skills so that when they enter middle school, they will be prepared to deal with an environment that no longer holds their hand and tells them what to do every minute in class. Read the rest of this entry →
This case arises under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. § 1415(e)(2). Pursuant to IDEA, a school district is required to provide a disabled child with a “free appropriate education.” 20 U.S.C. § 1400(c). J.C., a severely mentally retarded sixteen-year-old male, has attended the Ocean County Day Training Center (“OCDTC”) since 1987. In 1992, concerned about the appropriateness of their son’s instruction, J.C.’s father and stepmother, M.C. and G.C. (“plaintiffs”), began proceedings to secure both a residential placement for J.C. and compensatory education beyond his twenty-first year to make up for what they believed to be long-standing deficiencies in his program. In 1995, the district court ordered that J.C. be relocated to a residential school, but refused to award compensatory education because it found that the defendant, Central Regional School District (“Central Regional,” “school district,” or “district”), had, in good faith, provided J.C. with some educational program. Central Regional now appeals the residential placement, and plaintiffs cross-appeal the determination regarding compensatory education. Read the rest of this entry →
Justice Stevens delivered the opinion of the Court.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA or Act), 84 Stat. 175, as amended, 20 U. S. C. §1400 et seq., requires States receiving federal funding to make a “free appropriate public education” (FAPE) available to all children with disabilities residing in the State, §1412(a)(1)(A). We have previously held that when a public school fails to provide a FAPE and a child’s parents place the child in an appropriate private school without the school district’s consent, a court may require the district to reimburse the parents for the cost of the private education. See School Comm. of Burlington v. Department of Ed. of Mass., 471 U. S. 359, 370 (1985). The question presented in this case is whether the IDEA Amendments of 1997 (Amendments), 111 Stat. 37, categorically prohibit reimbursement for private-education costs if a child has not “previously received special education and related services under the authority of a public agency.” §1412(a)(10)(C)(ii). We hold that the Amendments impose no such categorical bar. Read the rest of this entry →
Justice Kennedy delivered the opinion of the Court.
Some four years ago, Mr. and Mrs. Winkelman, parents of five children, became involved in lengthy administrative and legal proceedings. They had sought review related to concerns they had over whether their youngest child, 6-year-old Jacob, would progress well at Pleasant Valley Elementary School, which is part of the Parma City School District in Parma, Ohio. Read the rest of this entry →
Justice Alito delivered the opinion of the Court.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA or Act) provides that a court “may award reasonable attorneys’ fees as part of the costs” to parents who prevail in an action brought under the Act. 111 Stat. 92, 20 U. S. C. §1415(i)(3)(B). We granted certiorari to decide whether this fee-shifting provision authorizes prevailing parents to recover fees for services rendered by experts in IDEA actions. We hold that it does not. Read the rest of this entry →
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice O’Connor.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA or Act), 84 Stat. 175, as amended, 20 U. S. C. A. §1400 et seq. (main ed. and Supp. 2005), is a Spending Clause statute that seeks to ensure that “all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education,” §1400(d)(1)(A). Under IDEA, school districts must create an “individualized education program” (IEP) for each disabled child. §1414(d). If parents believe their child’s IEP is inappropriate, they may request an “impartial due process hearing.” §1415(f). The Act is silent, however, as to which party bears the burden of persuasion at such a hearing. We hold that the burden lies, as it typically does, on the party seeking relief. Read the rest of this entry →
Justice Stevens delivered the opinion of the Court.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 84 Stat. 175, as amended, was enacted, in part, “to assure that all children with disabilities have available to them … a free appropriate public education which emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs.” 20 U. S. C. §1400(c). Consistent with this purpose, the IDEA authorizes federal financial assistance to States that agree to provide disabled children with special education and “related services.” See §§1401(a)(18), 1412(1). The question presented in this case is whether the definition of “related services” in §1401(a)(17) 1 requires a public school district in a participating State to provide a ventilator-dependent student with certain nursing services during school hours. Read the rest of this entry →
JUSTICE O’CONNOR delivered the opinion of the Court.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 84 Stat. 175, as amended, 20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq. (1988 ed. and Supp. IV), requires States to provide disabled children with a “free appropriate public education,” 1401(a)(18). This case presents the question whether a court may order reimbursement for parents who unilaterally withdraw their child from a public school that provides an inappropriate education under IDEA and put the child in a private school that provides an education that is otherwise proper under IDEA, but does not meet all the requirements of 1401(a)(18). We hold that the court may order such reimbursement, and therefore affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeals. Read the rest of this entry →
JUSTICE BRENNAN delivered the opinion of the Court.
As a condition of federal financial assistance, the Education of the Handicapped Act requires States to ensure a “free appropriate public education” for all disabled children within their jurisdictions. In aid of this goal, the Act establishes a comprehensive system of procedural safeguards designed to ensure parental participation in decisions concerning the education of their disabled children and to provide administrative and judicial review of any decisions with which those parents disagree. Among these safeguards is the so-called “stay-put” provision, which directs that a disabled child “shall remain in [his or her] then current educational placement” pending completion of any review proceedings, unless the parents and state or local educational agencies otherwise agree. 20 U.S.C. 1415(e)(3). Today we must decide whether, in the face of this statutory proscription, state or local school authorities may nevertheless unilaterally exclude disabled children from the classroom for dangerous or disruptive conduct growing out of their disabilities. In addition, we are called upon to decide whether a district court may, in the exercise of its equitable powers, order a State to provide educational services directly to a disabled child when the local agency fails to do so. [484 U.S. 305, 309] Read the rest of this entry →