Flawed Manifestation Determinations and Lack of FBAs Lead to Compensatory Education

Updated: Nov 12, 2020

New Jersey Special Education Decision Explains How School District Violated the IDEA

A recent New Jersey Special Education hearing decision highlights school districts’ obligations to complete special education evaluations within the required timelines and conduct proper manifestation determinations. The events in this case occurred in the months prior to school closings due to the coronavirus pandemic -- but remember that all federal and state special education requirements remain intact now.

There are no “COVID waivers.”

Before we look at this case, please note that there are often additional issues and facts in a special education situation that are not clear from a hearing decision. This article is based solely on what we can read in this decision. This author did not discuss the case with either party.

What happened in this case?

In J.C. on behalf of C.C. and C.C. v. Lawnside Borough Board of Education (NJ OAL DKT. NO. EDS 03275-20, October 5, 2020), a guardian of two children filed a request for relief on behalf of both students when they were repeatedly suspended from school and placed on homebound instruction. The parties worked out an agreement for placements in a pr