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Top Ten Special Education Supreme Court Cases

November 28, 2011 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

The list outlines the top ten Special Education Supreme Court Cases and a short description of each ruling.  To read the entire opinion click on the name of each case below:

1. Hendrick Hudson Board of Education. v. Rowley, 458 U.S. 176 (1982)

First Supreme Court case regarding special education set the standard for what is a “Free Appropriate Public Education”.   The ruling provided children with disabilities access to public schools that also provided a basic floor of opportunity.  Not the best education but one where the child has passing grades in classes and is advancing to higher grades. Read the rest of this entry →

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Schaffer v. Weast, 546 U. S. (2005)

October 28, 2011 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

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 →

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IDEA Fairness Restoration Act: Will the Third Time finally be the Charm

March 23, 2011 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

It’s that time of year again, birds are chirping, bees are buzzing and the latest introduction of the IDEA Fairness Restoration Act has just occurred.  This is an important Bill for Parents who are trying to exercise their Due Process Rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  Why is that?  The Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that while Parents can be reimbursed for Attorney Fees, if they prevail, they can’t be reimbursed for Expert Witness Fees.  This puts Parents at a major disadvantage to all of the School Districts who already employee these types of specialists.  The Supreme Court has also ruled in the past that the “Burden of Proof” in any IDEA related case is on the Party that files.  This means that when a Parent files a Due Process complaint they must prove their case or the Hearing Officer must assume the School District is in the right.  You can only prove your case with facts and testimony from Experts in the field.  Parents are spending thousands of dollars to hire Expert witnesses to assess their children and testify at the Hearings on their behalf.  The IDEA Fairness Restoration Act would add to IDEA that Expert Witness fees could be reimbursed to Parents who prevail in a Due Process Hearing. Read the rest of this entry →

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