Monday, June 22, 2009

Supreme Court ruled in favor of special ed student to get reimbursed for private school tuition

Hm...I wonder if this will change anything?

Any bets?

From the New York Times:

In a decision that could help disabled students obtain needed services and cost school districts millions of dollars, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday that parents of special-education students may seek government reimbursement for private school tuition, even if they have never received special-education services in public school.

The case before the court involved a struggling Oregon high school student, identified in court documents only as T. A., whose parents removed him from public school in the Forest Grove district in his junior year and enrolled him in a $5,200-a-month residential school.

Although Forest Grove officials had noticed T. A.’s difficulties and evaluated him for learning disabilities, he was found ineligible for special-education services. Only after he enrolled in the private school did doctors say T. A. had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and other disabilities.

While most of the nation’s six million special-education students attend public school, as T. A. did for many years, thousands of families with disabled children, convinced that the public schools lack appropriate placements, avoid the public schools altogether. Instead, they enroll their children in expensive private schools for students with emotional or learning disabilities, and then seek reimbursement.


Holly said...

Not much, that's my's such a convoluted problem... too many loopholes, but it's something.

Judy said...

So the way I read it from here and other sources, the court did not order reimbursement, but it ordered that the parents had the right to seek reimbursement. The wrinkle here is that the boy had never received special education services. Most parents in this fight are removing their children from schools in which the special education system is failing them.

This is a very interesting clarification of the IDEA. I can't wait to see how it plays out nationally.

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