Just a quick update:
Currently the Supreme Court has before it a case on how and when public schools must pay for private instruction for children with Disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The case is entitled:
BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK, v. TOM F., ON BEHALF OF GILBERT F., A MINOR CHILD.
Arguments were heard before the court on Monday, October 1, 2007. The relevanct section of the IDEA appears to be this one:
TITLE I / B / 612 / a / 10 / C / ii
If the parents of a child with a disability, who previously received special education and related services under the
authority of a public agency, enroll the child in a private elementary or secondary school without the consent of or
referral by the public agency, a court or a hearing officer may require the agency to reimburse the parents for the cost of
that enrollment if the court or hearing officer finds that the agency had not made a free appropriate public education
available to the child in a timely manner prior to that enrollment.
Here is a brief summary of the facts and time-line of the case. I am withholding judgment as to how this case will come out but do believe it will have an impact on how public schools conduct Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and evaluate tuition reimbursement for students whose parents place them in private schools because of disabilities.
Some Cases and phrases to note in connection with this case:
FAPE, a free appropriate education is garunteed to every child in America, including those with disabilties.
The Carter Case is a case out of South Carolina for:
“[…] Shannon Carter, a special-education student who won a landmark decision in the Supreme Court four years ago. The public schools of Florence County, South Carolina, had labeled Shannon lazy and unmotivated and allowed her to reach ninth grade with an undetected learning disability that had left her nearly illiterate. As she prepared to enter 10th grade, Shannon was actually reading at a fifth-grade level — and falling behind in virtually every subject. Distraught, Shannon attempted suicide. She was finally found to have a learning disability. School officials offered the typical mainstream formula of full-time regular classes with a few hours of special education a week. The Carters were dissatisfied and subsequently removed her from public school and placed her in a private academy, where she jumped several grade levels and graduated reading on par.
The family sued for the cost of tuition. Ruling unanimously for the Carters, the Supreme Court warned public schools that they had only two choices: educate learning-disabled children in accordance with the law or foot the bill for private-school tuition. Instead of strengthening special-education programs, the states have embarked on a campaign to define learning disabilities out of existence.”
From the New York Times OpEd entitled “Special Education is not a Scandal” by Brent Staples published on September 21, 1997.
I will post as soon as the result of this case comes out. Have a fabulous day!
“Justice is truth in action.” Benjamin Disraeli