SCHOOL LAW ADVISORY
Volume 29, No. 2
Everyone interested in special education as been waiting for the big Supreme Court ruling regarding whether a free, appropriate, public education (“FAPE”) means something more than we all thought it did. But while we were waiting, our own First Circuit issued three special education rulings of its own – all out of the State of Maine – with each adding its own level of excitement to our wild and crazy world of special education.
Set forth below is an in-depth review of the Supreme Court ruling, and then brief summaries of the First Circuit rulings. We close with a couple of legislative and regulatory developments as well, just for good measure!
Supreme Court Addresses FAPE
We all have been waiting for months for the Supreme Court’s first ruling on the meaning of FAPE since way back in 1982 when the Court issued its Board of Education v. Rowley decision. The Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District RE-1 came down on March 22 and has since led to a wide array of commentary on whether it has altered the FAPE standard in a meaningful way from what was set forth in the Court’s earlier Rowley ruling. At first blush, the answer would seem to be no, at least within our own First Circuit, but in truth only time will tell. Certainly, parent attorneys will argue that the Supreme Court has raised the bar, and courts across the country will have to address these assertions in the next couple of years.
This case involved a fifth grade student eligible for special education and related services under a coding of autism. The student had an IEP and a behavior plan that had been created by a special education teacher. The IEP team ...To continue reading, visit https://schoollaw.com/school-law-advisory.