Special education law is complicated stuff. I have said here before that Special Ed Law is a lot closer to metaphysics than it is to contract law. If you hate ambiguity, Special Ed Law may not be your thing. (I still believe that there is a Jeff Foxworthy joke in there somewhere.)
Any way, inspired by a presentation that I gave at a national conference of the Council for Exceptional Children, we periodically run a series of posts on the nuts and bolts of special education law. The series is a good refresher for veterans and a solid introduction for folks new to special education law. So are you ready for special ed law 101?
We have gotten a robust reaction to the post a while back concerning who won Endrew F? It seems that each side (parents and school officials) still thinks that they won. Why is that?
First, we should probably take a look at special education law. We have long said here
that special education law is closer to metaphysics than it is to contract law. Contract law, and other types of old law, have "
hornbook" rules that have been settled for ages. Old lawyers can apply those settled rules to a fact pattern and predict an outcome with reasonable certainty. (Although as one very senior attorney once told me, "anybody who says they know what a jury will do is lying.")
We periodically run a series here that is an introduction to special education law. Now seems like a good time to run an updated version of the series. So starting next week we will run the series.
We realize that many of you are new to the field, and we hope that this series will be very useful to you. We also realize that many of you have been in this field a long time, and we hope that this series is a useful refresher for you.
There are a lot of concepts and a bucket full of acronyms, but we find that it helps us ti keep sharp by periodically reviewing the basics. As the series progresses, please let us know what you think of it. Did we cover all important topics. Did we explain the (Read more...)
OK big news. The United States Supreme Court issued a big decision on Wednesday. The high court clarified what FAPE means and how courts should apply the FAPE requirement.
The decision in Endrew F by Joseph F v. Douglas County Sch Dist RE-1,
# 15-827, 580 U.S. ______ (2017) vacates and remands a previous decision by the Tenth Circuit. We have had a number of previous posts on this case which can be reviewed here
First a few preliminary observations. First this was a unanimous decision, the second special ed unanimous decision by the Supremes this year. So we have a new slogan of this area of law: Special ed law...bringing people together!
CADRE, the National Center on Dispute Resolution in Special Education, will sponsor a Symposium this fall. CADRE conferences are the best. Right now, CADRE is seeking proposals to present at Restoring Focus on the Child: CADRE’s Seventh National Symposium on Dispute Resolution in Special Education. Keeping the theme in mind, CADRE is seeking proposals with a focus on child-centered dispute resolution processes emphasizing strategies which ultimately yield improved and successful outcomes for children with disabilities. Proposals must be received by email by April 21, 2017 to be considered.
Objectives for this Symposium: Symposium participants will have the opportunity to:
The United States Supreme Court Ruled today in Fry v Napoleon Community Schools that IDEA exhaustion is required only when IDEA FAPE is at issue. This decision reverses the Sixth Circuit decision that held that a parent must exhaust IDEA remedies before pursuing a §504 action for the failure of a school district to allow a student with a disability to have a service dog.
Get this the decision was 8-0, with six justices joining Justice Kagan's majority opinion and two others concurring.