Special Education

News & Analysis as of

Supreme Court Increases School Standards For Students With Disabilities

IEPs Must Meet “Markedly More Demanding” Standard From Now On This week, in a unanimous decision crafted by Chief Justice John Roberts, the Supreme Court decided that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act...more

Special Education Tip – Updating the IEP – 40-2017

When you hold an annual review, do not skip pages in the IEP. For instance, the Parental Input section should be different from year to year. It may be the same message, but at least change the wording....more

US Supreme Court Determines Scope of the Administrative Exhaustion Requirement Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education...

In Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools, No. 15-497, 2017 WL 685533 (U.S. Feb. 22, 2017), the United States Supreme Court held that administrative exhaustion under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act was unnecessary...more

Utah employee had no constitutional right to continued employment

Public employees who have a right to continued employ­ment enjoy constitutional due-process protections that run-of-the-mill at-will employees do not. How can a public employer know if one of its employees enjoys...more

Wonder of Wonders – Supreme Court Opens Door for More Litigation in Cases Involving 504 and the ADA

On February 22, 2017, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools et al. A school district had prohibited a student from bringing her service dog, Wonder, to school with her. So the family filed...more

Supreme Court Rules Title II and Section 504 Claims Can Proceed to Court Without Exhausting IDEA’s Administrative Processes In...

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Fry v. Napoleon Comm. Schools limits IDEA’s exhaustion requirement to those cases which seek relief for a denial of FAPE allowing for some claims brought under Title II...more

IDEA Exhaustion Rule Applies only to Claims Specifically Involving FAPE

On February 22, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an important decision concerning the legal remedies that parents have when they feel their disabled child is being ill-served by a school district. This decision discusses...more

Supreme Court Holds IDEA Exhaustion Required When Crux of Complaint Is a Denial of FAPE

The Supreme Court issued its opinion in Fry v. Napoleon yesterday. The case asked the court to interpret the IDEA provision stating that the Act does not limit the rights or remedies available under the Americans with...more

The Scope of the IDEA Statute: How Far Must Local School Districts Go In Providing A “Free And Appropriate” Public Education?

Say what you will about the Roberts Court, but you cannot say it does not confront diffi cult issues that impact the everyday lives of most Americans. One of those issues presently before the Court is public education,...more

How Are You Handling Parents Who Might Not Speak English?

A recent Philadelphia court decision is a welcome reminder for Barley Snyder client school districts to know what is required of them when it comes to dealing with families where the parents or guardians of a student do not...more

Worth Another Look

Budget Theme: Schools that Teach - As he has in previous years, Governor Wolf highlighted the need for “schools that teach” in his 2017-2018 budget address. Today during his budget address, Governor Wolf stated his...more

U.S. Supreme Court Deliberates Important Special Education Case

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that could affect the education of millions of students with disabilities, and the public schools that provide services to these students. In the case of...more

A Cadillac, A Serviceable Chevrolet Or Something In Between: The Supreme Court Is Poised To Redefine The Standard Of Education...

On January 11, 2017, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, a case likely to change the landscape of special education by redefining the level of education that is...more

Oral Argument Presented in Supreme Court Case Addressing the Level of Educational Benefit that must be Provided under IDEA

On January 11, 2017, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in the case of Endrew F. ex rel. Joseph F. v. Douglas County School District RE 1, Docket No. 15-187, to address the level of benefit a schools must confer on...more

Michigan Legislature Repeals Preferential Hiring Requirement for Special Education Personnel

On January 3, 2017, Governor Snyder signed into law Public Act 429, which is to take immediate effect. This Act repeals a somewhat obscure provision of the Michigan Revised School Code. Section 1766, MCL 380.1766, required a...more

New Guidance Issued by the Department of Education on the Rights of Students with Disabilities

At the end of last month, the Department of Education released three new sets of guidance on the federal civil rights laws that govern students with disabilities. All three offer valuable information about current and...more

OSEP Speaks Again: Ensure Your Evaluations Address All Areas of Potential Concern

On October 22, 2016, the US Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (“OSEP”), via its latest informal guidance/opinion letter (“Letter to Carroll”), once again addressed whether, once a school...more

Supreme Court to Revisit Rowley IDEA FAPE Standard for First Time in Nearly 35 Years

On September 29, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States agreed to hear the case of Endrew F. ex rel. Joseph F. v. Douglas County School District RE 1, Docket No. 15-187 to decide the question “What is the level of...more

Supreme Court Will Review Two Special Education Cases this Term

The Supreme Court currently has two important special education cases on its docket for this term. The first is Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District (10th Cir.), which will revisit the free and appropriate public...more

Helping Your Child Transition From School to Work

What will your child do after "aging out" of special education? While the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has helped ensure that children with disabilities enjoy access to appropriate educational programs...more

Second Circuit Holds IDEA Eligibility Does Not Automatically Result in Section 504/ADA Eligibility; Practical Implications Are Not...

The Second Circuit held that the parents failed to establish their claim “[b]ecause, as a matter of law, an IDEA disability does not necessarily constitute a disability under the ADA for Section 504.” Id. The court...more

Connecticut Court Orders Major Overhaul of Primary and Secondary Education Policies

On September 7, 2016, a Connecticut trial court in Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding, Inc. v. Rell, ordered the state to implement major reforms to its education policies. More than a decade ago, a...more

OSERS Reminds of Need to Consider PBIS; Cautions on Use of Short-Term Removals and Exclusionary Discipline

The United States Department of Education’s Office for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) published a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) on August 1, 2016 underscoring the importance of positive behavioral...more

DOE Dear Colleague Letter Advises Districts To Consider Whether IEPs of Students Experiencing Short-Term Disciplinary Removals...

On August 1, 2016, the United States Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services and Office of Special Education Programs issued a Dear Colleague Letter suggesting that, in many cases, a...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week - August, 2016

Dear Legal Mailbag: This is my 20th year in education. When I first started teaching, my administrators told me that a principal or administrator had to be present at every PPT. Later, I became a principal, and my...more

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