Recent Decisions - SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

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Review Denied

Decisions without published opinions in lower court

DOCKET NO: 10-820

NAME: Schain v. Schmidt

DATE CERT. DENIED: Feb. 22, 201 1

CITATION: 131 S. Ct. 1503

Decisions with published opinion in lower court

DOCKET NO: 10-436

NAME: RB. v. Piano lndep. Sch. Dist.

DATE CERT. DENIED: Feb. 22, 201 1

CITATION: 131 S. Ct. 1471

Student with disability filed suit under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act seeking reimbursement for private pre-school tuition. R.H. was diagnosed with autism at age two through Texas' early intervention program and deemed eligible for speech and occupational therapy services. He was enrolled at a special public pre-school. After one semester, his parents removed him due to their belief he was not progressing enough, and enrolled him in a private pre-school. Due to the fact that the regular school year was almost over, they enrolled him in a special summer session. The parents met with representatives of the school district and the district offered a modified Individualized Education Plan (IEP). The parents disagreed with the plan and left R.H. in the private pre-school. The parents also initiated a due process hearing. The hearing officer found for the school district on all issues except reimbursement of the summer session. R.H. filed suit. A magistrate judge agreed with the hearing officer, but also found that the district did not have to pay for the summer session because the parents did not give proper notice of their intent to enroll R.H. in the summer session. The district court accepted the magistrate judge's report and granted summary judgment in favor of the school district. R.H. appealed. Held: School district did not have to pay for R. H. 's private preschool expenses. The parents failed to show that the IEP was not implemented in the least restrictive environment. The court also found that according to the educational records, R.H. showed progress toward his goals under his IEP in the public pre-school and thus the move to a private school was unnecessary. Finally, the court found that this district was also not required to pay for the summer session at the private pre-school due to the fact that the parents did not provide proper notice of their intent to enroll R. H. in the summer session. R.H. v. Piano Indep. Sch. Dist., 607 F. 3d 1003 (5th Cir. 2010), cert, denied, 131 S. Ct. 1471 (2011).

DOCKET NO: 10-489

NAME: Connecticut v. Duncan

DATE CERT. DENIED: Feb. 22, 201 1

CITATION: 131 S. Ct. 1471

State and General Assembly of Connecticut sued U.S. Secretary of Education over secretary's interpretation of unfunded mandate provisions of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and for violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Connecticut asked the U.S. Department of Education to waive certain testing requirements under Title I. The secretary denied the requests and issued new guidelines under NCLB that specifically prohibited some of the changes Connecticut wanted to make. The state again requested a waiver and it was denied. The state then sued claiming violation of the Spending Clause and Tenth Amendment in denying waivers. The district court dismissed all but one of the claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. A second trip to district court resulted in dismissal of the remaining claim for violation of the APA. The state appealed. Held: State's claims challenging secretary's new unfunded mandate guidelines were not ripe for review. While the state had submitted its plans to cover the difference between the Title I funds and the cost of meeting the new guidelines, the secretary had not taken any final action, nor had he attempted to enforce adherence to the new guidelines. The court also found that because the secretary had not taken final action, the state's claim that it was wrongfully denied a hearing on the proposed NCLB amendments was moot, even assuming the secretary had violated the APA. …