How often have you heard the School District blame the Parents for the failure of an IEP? I’ve heard it more often than I would like and it’s more common than some would like to believe. This very topic was at the heart of a recent appeals proceeding conducted by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Anchorage School District v. M.P.. The 9th Circuit was reviewing a ruling from a District Court that was “declining to consider whether M.P. received a FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education) because his parents were equally or more at fault for the absence of an updated IEP.” This ruling from the District Court, if upheld by the 9th Circuit, would have undermined the entire process established by Congress in IDEA and the rights afforded to parent’s to protect their child’s right to receive FAPE. The 9th Circuit understood the enormity of what the District Court had ruled and agreed to a judicial review of the lower court’s decision. During that review, “The school district argued that the parents were at fault because “they left the IEP meeting, did not file a dissenting report,” and did not adequately communicate their concerns to the school district.” The 9th Circuit Court of appeals disagreed and wrote the following: Read the rest of this entry →
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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:
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 →
I am hearing from parents more often than ever that they feel their child’s current educational placement is not providing a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) as required under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). What are some of the options a parent has when this is the case: They can file a Due Process Complaint and wait for the outcome or they can place their child in a private school and try to get reimbursed for the cost of the tuition from the public School District. 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 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 REHNQUIST delivered the opinion of the Court.
The Education of the Handicapped Act (Act), 84 Stat. 175, as amended, 20 U.S.C. 1401 et seq., requires participating state and local educational agencies “to assure that handicapped children and their parents or guardians are guaranteed procedural safeguards with respect to the provision of free appropriate public education” to such handicapped children. 1415(a). These procedures include the right of the parents to participate in the development of an “individualized education program” (IEP) for the child and to challenge in administrative and court proceedings a proposed IEP with which they disagree. 1401(19), 1415(b), (d), (e). Where as in the present case review of a contested IEP takes years to run its course – years critical to the child’s development – important practical questions arise concerning interim placement of the child and financial responsibility for that placement. This case requires us to address some of those questions. Read the rest of this entry →