A School District in Alabama decided it was worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees to try to invalidate a Parent’s right to an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) at public expense that has been part and parcel with the Individual’s with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for decades. Parent’s are at a marked disadvantage when dealing with a School District regarding their child’s Individualized Education Program and Congress was well aware of this when they crafted IDEA. This is why IDEA includes various Procedural Safeguards for the sole purpose of leveling the playing field for Parents who are trying their best to raise a child with a disability and negotiate for an appropriate education for that child. This is why it enrages me when a School District spends money that should have been used to educate students on lawyers when the intention of Congress regarding reimbursement of IEE’s is very clear. 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 →
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 →
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 →