US Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Special Education Student, Cites SPED Kids Need Higher Curriculum Standards

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald March 24, 04:00 am

The United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of a special education student Wednesday. It cited schools have the responsibility to provide special need kids higher curriculum standards and more challenging school programs.

It's a big win for the case of Endrew F. vs. Douglas County School District. In an 8-0 ruling, the Supreme Court said the school district was liable for the student with autism's tailored education.

Endrew F.'s family pulled out their son from public school because his individualized education plan under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) wasn't helping him improve. His parents moved him to a private school where he performed better.

Endrew F.'s parents sued the school district for support of his private school tuition and they lost in the lower court, as Parent Herald previously reported. Now, the Supreme Court overturned that decision.

"A student offered an educational program providing 'merely more than de minimis' progress from year to year can hardly be said to have been offered an education at all," Chief Justice John Roberts stated in the ruling, Reuters reported. He reiterated educational programs for special needs kids must be "appropriately ambitious," especially if the student cannot cope and integrate with regular classes.

Parents of special needs kids welcomed the Supreme Court's ruling. Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi of the group RespectAbility hailed the controversial decision as "epic," as per U.S. News.

Endrew F.'s case drew controversy because President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch handled a similar case involving a special needs child in 2008. He ruled in favor of the school district.

"I understand today that the Supreme Court has indicated that the [previous] standard is incorrect," he told the Senate committee in his confirmation hearing, as per Time. "That's fine, I will follow the law," he added. "If I was wrong, Senator, I was wrong because I was bound by circuit precedent, and I'm sorry."

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