Statutes and Case Law
The resource information provided below is for informational purposes only and does not serve as an endorsement or recommendation by Mayerson & Associates. Parent must make an independent inquiry to determine what is appropriate for their child's individual needs.
Important StatutesCombating Autism Act of 2006
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. §1232(g), et. seq.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (“IDEIA”) of 2004, 20 U.S.C. §1400, et. seq., IDEIA Regulations, 34 C.F.R. Part 300.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. §794, et. seq.
New York Commissioner Regulations, 8 N.Y.C.R.R. § 200, et. seq.
New York Education Law, NY CLS Educ § 4401, et. seq.
Important Court DecisionsArlington v. Murphy, 548 U.S. 291 (2006) – The court held that a provision of the IDEA authorizing “reasonable attorney’s fees” for prevailing parents does not authorize the recovery of fees for expert’s services.
Board of Education v. Rowley, 458 U.S. 176 (1982) – The court held that an IEP must be reasonably calculated for a child to receive educational benefit, but the district is not required to provide every service necessary to maximize a child’s potential.
Bucks County Department of Mental Health v. DeMora, 379 F.3d 61 (3d Cir. 2004) – The Third Circuit held that under appropriate circumstances, parents may be personally compensated for performing a FAPE function that the school district was duty bound to perform.
C.B. v. New York City Department of Education, 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15215 (E.D.N.Y. 2005) – The court held that the parents unilateral program is subject to a less-stringent standard under Prong II of the Burlington/Carter test, than the school district’s standard under Prong I.
Connors v. Mills, 34 F.Supp.2d 795 (N.D.N.Y. 1998) – The court held that when parents establish to the IHO that they not have the financial means to front the cost of a non-approved private school, and the Burlington test has been met, prospective funding may be awarded, stating that the school district “must pay the cost of private placement immediately.”
Deal v. Hamilton County Board of Education, 392 F.3d 840 (6th Cir. 2004), cert denied, 546 U.S. 936 (2005) – The court held the child was denied a free and appropriate public education where the school district impermissibly “predetermined” the child’s educational program and failed to meaningfully include the child’s parents at the IEP meetings.
D.F. v. Ramapo Central School District, 430 F.3d 595 (2d Cir. 2005) – The Second Circuit considered the use of “retrospective evidence” when determining the substantive validity of an IEP on Prong I of the Burlington/Carter test for reimbursement.
Honig v. Doe, 484 U.S. 305 (1988) – The “stay put” or pendency provision prevents the school from excluding handicapped students from school or changing the students educational placement until proceedings are complete.
Florence County School District IV v. Carter, 510 U.S. 7 (1988) The court held that a court may order reimbursement for parents who unilaterally withdraw their child from a public school that provides an inappropriate education and put the child in a private school that provides an education that is appropriate. The court will look to whether the parents cooperated with the District, balancing the equities, in determining a reimbursement award.
Frank G. v. Board of Education 459 F.3d 356 (2d Cir. 2006) cert. denied, 128 S.Ct. 436 (2007) – The parent’s burden for Prong II is subject to a less stringent standard, they do not need to show that the private placement will maximize their child’s potential, they must demonstrate that the placement provides educational instruction specially designed to meet the unique needs of a handicapped child, supported by such services as are necessary to permit the child to benefit from instruction.
Gagliardo v. Arlington Central School District, 489 F.3d 105 (2d. Cir. 2007) – The court reversed a judgment requiring reimbursement because the parents proposed placement was found to be inappropriate. It must be shown that the special needs of the student are met and that the student is able to receive a benefit from the private placement’s instruction
L.B. v. Nebo School District, 379 F.3d 966 (10th Cir. 2004) – The Tenth Circuit held that the child’s school district had failed to educate the child in the child’s “least restrictive environment” and was liable to reimburse the child’s parents for ABA and other privately secured services.
Lillbask v. Conn. Dept. of Educ., 397 F.3d 77 (2d Cir. 2005) – Court recognized that the conduct of the parents should not be permitted to defeat the purpose of the IDEA, and the remedial power of the court should not be interpreted to further such an end.
M.V. v. Shenendowa Central School District, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 182 (N.D.N.Y. 2008) – The court awarded tuition reimbursement, saying that the parents had met the Prong III equity requirement by cooperating with the District in attending and fully participating in CSE meetings, sending concerns to the District in writing, actively seeking out of district placements, and investigating the proposed placements to determine that they were not appropriate, and no visit was necessary.
P. v. Newington Bd. of Ed., 546 F.3d 111 (2d Cir. 2008) – The least restrictive environment requires a 2 prong analysis of whether a child with disabilities can be educated satisfactorily in a regular classroom with supplemental aids and services, and whether the school has included the child in school programs with nondisabled children to the maximum extent appropriate.
Polk v. Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unite 16, 853 F.2d 171 (3d. Cir., 1988) – The Third Circuit interpreted the IDEA to require more than just “some educational benefit” for a student, there must be more than a de minimus educational benefit.
Sackets Harbor Central School District v. Munoz, 283 A.D.2d 756 (N.Y. App. Div. 2001) – In a case of first impression, the Appellate Division, Third Department, held that if a school district conducts a vote at an IEP meeting, and the parents’ position prevails following that vote, the school district is bound by the vote and is estopped to deny its effect.
Schaffer v. Weast, 546 U.S. 49 (2005) – The court held that the burden of proof in an administrative hearing challenging the appropriateness of an IEP is placed on the party that is seeking relief. This has since been superceded by statute in New York and New Jersey.
School Committee of Burlington v. Department of Education, 471 U.S. 359 (1985) – The court held that the test for reimbursement is whether the district offer a free and appropriate public education and whether the parents unilateral placement was appropriate for the student.
Spielberg v. Henrico County Public School, 853 F.2d 256 (4th Cir. 1988) – The court held the school district failed to provide a FAPE due to their changing the placement of the student and then developing the IEP to support the change of placement.
Student X v. New York City Department of Education, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 88163 (E.D.N.Y., 2008) – The Eastern District Court held that a student's pendency entitlements continue during an appeal at the district court level. The District failed and refused to honor and implement the student’s pendency entitlements and the Court awarded the student more than a year's worth compensatory services for this failure.
Board of Education v. Tom F., 193 Fed.Appx. 26 (2d Cir 2006), aff’d, 128 S.Ct. 1 (2007) – The Second Circuit held, and the Supreme Court affirmed in a 4-4 split decision that parents do not have to “try out” a public school placement before challenging such placement as inappropriate.
T.P. v. Mamaroneck School District, 554 F.3d 247 (2d Cir. 2009) – The court held that the “predetermination” principles of the Sixth Circuit’s decision in Deal applies to cases in the Second Circuit.
W.G. v. Board of Trustees, 960 F.2d 1479 (9th Cir. 1992) – The court found that procedural inadequacies or a serious infringement on parents opportunity to participate in the IEP process is a denial of a FAPE.
Walczak v. Florida Union Free School Dist., 142 F.3d 119 (2d Cir. 2001) – The court held that there is a strong preference for children with disabilities to be educated with nondisabled peers to the maximum extent that is appropriate.
Winkelman v. Parma City School Board, 127 S.Ct. 1994 (2007) – The court held that parents, as well as the child, have independent, enforceable rights under the IDEA.