Supreme Court Steers Clear Of Special Education Dispute
The U.S. Supreme Court declined this week to weigh in on whether or not parents should have a say in deciding which school their children with disabilities attend.
The court said it would not hear an appeal in a case brought by the parents of a boy with autism against the New York City school system.
The parents, known in court documents as R.E. and M.E., sued after the school district selected a “final” placement for their son without their input. Though the parents said they worked with the district to develop an individualized education program, or IEP, they argued that they did not agree with the placement selected and were not given any other options.
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As a result, the parents proceeded to enroll the child in a private school where he had previously attended and requested reimbursement from the district for tuition costs, arguing that the school district placement did not offer the one-to-one attention that the child needed.
A federal district court ruled in favor of the parents. But the decision was reversed by a federal appeals court last year with the panel writing that the school district “may select the specific school without the advice of the parents so long as it conforms to the program offered in the IEP.”
Now that the Supreme Court has declined to hear the case known as R.E. v. New York City Department of Education, the ruling in favor of the school district will stand. The high court did not offer any comment on its decision.