This is the first full school year following the Supreme Court’s groundbreaking decision last Spring in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District. How has the decision been effecting IEPs? So far it has been working out quite nicely for students with special needs!
Endrew F. ruled that public schools must provide students with disabilities more than minimal benefit to meet their IDEA obligations, raising the standard far higher than it was previously by requiring the IEP to be “reasonably calculated to enable [a child] to make progress appropriate in light of the child’s circumstances.”
Posternock Apell, PC’s Special Education team couldn’t wait until the start of the 2017-2018 school year to see the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision – and we are thrilled to report the decision is already having a substantial impact.
The Supreme Court is standing firmly behind Endrew F. Just last week, the Supreme Court vacated a judgement from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals which had upheld the adequacy of an IEP under the old standard. The Supreme Court remanded the case back to the Ninth Circuit to review the IEP under the new, heightened Endrew F. standard.
Lesson learned, the Ninth Circuit remanded a challenge to the adequacy of IEP services back to the trial court for consideration using the higher standard set forth in Endrew F.
In yet another special education decision last week, the Supreme Court declined to hear a case involving a “stay-put” issue arising out of a multiple stage IEP. Under the IEP, the student’s placement was to be implemented over time, in stages. Parents agreed to the initial placement, but not subsequent placements set forth in the IEP. The high court’s decision not to hear this case reinforces the need for parents to be in agreement with the entire IEP proposed by the district before signing it.
The Court’s decision to deny certiorari and not hear this case is a reminder that parents should not engage in piece-meal agreement by picking and choosing the parts they like and invoking the IDEA’s “stay-put” protections for the parts they dislike. Unless you are willing to live with the entire IEP, voice your concerns and disagreements before signing any proposed IEP for your student with disabilities.
Contact Posternock Apell, PC’s Special Education Department
for help creating or enforcing your child’s IEP:
Posternock Apell, PC
Special Education Dept. Chair Diana Sever, Esq.