Academic journal article Journal of Law and Education

Recent Decisions - PRIMARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION

Academic journal article Journal of Law and Education

Recent Decisions - PRIMARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION

Article excerpt

DOCKET NO: 15^404

NAME: Weston Educ. Inc. v. United States ex rel. Miller

DATE FILED: 9/28/2015

CITATION: 84 U.S.L.W. 3201

DECISION BELOW: 784 F.3d 1198

This review reports all Supreme Court activity in the area of education law from Aug. 13, 2015 through Nov. 3, 2015.

PRIMARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION

Students with Disabilities

School district appealed ruling granting parents reimbursement of private education costs for failing to provide fair and appropriate education alleging private education placement was inappropriate. Without providing notice to the public school, the parents withdrew their son and placed him in a wilderness camp and then a mental-health facility. The parents received reimbursement for the costs of sending their son to these facilities. Held: For the school district. When parents choose an alternative route to public education for their disabled child because of a denial to free appropriate public education and seek reimbursement for the costs of private education, they must demonstrate that the placement was for educational purposes. Fort Bend Indep. Sch. Dist. v. Douglas, 601 Fed. App'x. 250 (5th Cir. 2015).

Parents of autistic child appealed decision granting summary judgment to Department of Education, when parents alleged violation of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The parents claimed that their child's Individualized Education Program ("IEP") was inefficient in meeting the child's needs. The parents felt this inefficiency was partly because the IEP did not challenge their son enough and therefore, violated his right to be educated in the least restrictive environment. Held: For the Department of Education. The parents failed to address their procedural issues with the lower court, and therefore waived their right to raise them on appeal. Also, the least restrictive environment applies to the classroom setting, not the level of additional support that is provided. Thus, the argument was unpersuasive and the city's procedures were appropriate. R.B. v. N.Y.C. Dep't of Educ., 603 Fed. App'x. 36 (2d Cir. 2015).

Parents of autistic child sued Department of Education alleging failure to provide free and appropriate public education ("FAPE") and seeking tuition reimbursement pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The parents rejected the school district's notice of recommendation of placement and enrolled their child in a private school designed to meet his special education needs. The Department of Education sought to deny tuition reimbursement arguing that the school provided a FAPE. Held: For the parents. When a FAPE program cannot demonstrate that it enables a disabled child to make meaningful educational gains, the school district must reimburse the child's private education. The school district's decision to place the child in a classroom setting with a ratio of 6:1:1 was not well reasoned based on conflicting decisions, and thus, did not provide a FAPE. P.L. v. N.Y.C. Dep't of Educ., 56 F. Supp. 3d 147 (E.D.N.Y. 2014).

Guardian grandmother sued board of education alleging violation of Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act. The student's guardian felt the student was denied a free and appropriate public education ("FAPE") when the board changed the student's school and educational placement. The school board failed to hold a hearing to discuss the change. The guardian was not consulted in the decisionmaking process for determining the student's Individualized Educational Program. Held: For the board of education. The guardian failed to establish that the student was denied a FAPE when the board changed the student's school. The change was in the location of services rather than a change in educational placement. Thus, the board was not required to include the guardian in the decision-making process regarding the transfer. Gore v. D.C., 67 F. Supp. 3d 147 (D.D.C. 2014).

Parent of student appealed decision of Administrative Hearing Officer in favor of Department of Education, alleging violation of free appropriate public education rights. …

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