Published: Sat, March 25, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

High Court Backs More Robust Standard For FAPE

High Court Backs More Robust Standard For FAPE

They said schools must offer more than the bare minimum in educational benefits to disabled children, setting aside a lower court ruling that had found the school district had satisfied federal law by doing so.

Jensen said the state would continue to monitor how the ruling shakes out, but underscored students with disabilities are best served when parents, teachers and other officials work together. The school district appealed the decision several times over the years to no avail, until in 2007, when the school district appealed to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. "A student offered an educational program providing merely more than de minimis progress from year to year can hardly be said to have been offered an education at all", Chief Justice John Roberts said.

The court decision expands the definition of what "appropriate" means. There are now nearly 6.5 million students with disabilities in the US.

School officials must now set "ambitiously" appropriate goals when crafting individualized education plans for special education students, according to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling Wednesday.

"School districts will have the flawless opportunity to do the right thing and create programs that are consistent with the new clarified standard", Mayerson said.

Nearly immediately, he was asked about his application in 2008 of the lower 10th Circuit standard.

Gorsuch's interpretation was pursuant to which a school district satisfies federal law, and does not need to reimburse the cost of private education, so long as it provides educational benefits to disabled students that are "more than de minimis".

But when his rulings came up in his confirmation hearing, he said he was sorry and that he was "bound by circuit precedent". Gorsuch said he only had seen the opinion briefly on his way to the bathroom in the five-minute break preceding Durbin's question period.

In response to a series of follow-up questions from Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Gorsuch rejected her suggestion that he was "anywhere out of the mainstream" in applying the standard rejected by the Supreme Court. He noted that several other appellate courts had relied on the same standard.

Gorsuch began testifying before members of the Senate on Monday.

The court has sided with the parents of an autistic DCSD student who say their child wasn't provided the level of public education required by federal law.

In Endrew's case his parents pulled him out of a public school in the county located near Denver, frustrated with his lack of progress. They placed him in private school, where he made rapid progress, and they sought reimbursement for tuition. Chalkbeat is a nonprofit news site covering educational change in public schools.

The student involved is identified only as Endrew F.in court documents. Gorsuch was not part of the panel that decided that case.

Colorado lawyer Jack Robinson represented both Endrew and the Perkins family in the 2008 case.

In that case, the parents of Luke, another student with autism, also sued their son's public school for allegedly violating IDEA, claiming they were forced to put their child in private school when he showed little progress in a public classroom.

The decision was written by Chief Justice Roberts.

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