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Supreme Court reaffirms principals of Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

The United States Supreme Court has reaffirmed the principal and purpose of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in providing all children with a free and appropriate public education.
In the recently decided case entitled, Forest Grove School District v. T.A., the court decided that IDEA authorizes reimbursement to parents for private special-education services when a public school fails to provide a free and appropriate public education and where the private school placement is appropriate, even if the child never received any past services from the school system.

The case was significant because the school system never offered this learning disabled child any services.  In the past the Supreme Court had ruled that where an offer of services was inadequate, parents could be reimbursed for the cost of private education. But the law was unclear as to whether the school system would have to make reimbursement when the school system unreasonable withheld any services.  The court agreed with the parents that the failure to provide reimbursement when services where inadequate but not when the school just refuses to supply any services would be absurd and contrary to the intentions of Congress in passing the Act.

The IDEA has very specific requirements that parents must follow in obtaining special education services and parents seeking these services for their children are advised to seek legal assistance to help them through this process.

Read the full supreme court special education decision.

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