U.S. Supreme Court rules on IEP matter

 

A March ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court may be of interest to pools with school membership. In Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, the Supreme Court redefines standards of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) for children with disabilities, under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Per this ruling, school districts in some jurisdictions may have to provide different and additional services to make sure students with disabilities receive a free and appropriate education. Also, parents may be more likely to bring due process claims. 

Based upon their dissatisfaction with their son's IEP, Endrew F's parents placed him in a private school and brought suit against the Douglas County School District to receive compensation for the private school enrollment costs. The lower courts ruled against the family, stating the IEP was adequate as long as it met "merely more than de minimus" educational standards previously established by the 10th Circuit Court.

The Supreme Court overturned that decision, stressing that while goals for children with disabilities may differ, "every child should have the chance to meet challenging objectives." The ruling outlines a standard that IEPs should be "markedly more demanding than de minimus."

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