This month the Supreme Court will hear Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, which centers on the question of what level of educational benefit schools are required to provide to children with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Endrew F. was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In public school though 4th grade, he had an IEP, but he didn’t make much progress and the IEP repeated the same goals from year to year, or gave up on them. In 5th grade, Drew’s parents withdrew him and enrolled him in a private school. The private school developed a behavior intervention plan that worked – since then, Drew has made significant academic progress.Drew’s parents then filed a complaint for reimbursement for the private school tuition with the school district. The District Court and the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the parents, finding that all the school district had to do for Drew was provide education and services that gave him a “merely more than de minimis” benefit – and that Douglas County had done that, even though Drew never met most of his educational goals. Drew and his parents are challenging this decision in the Supreme Court.
The filings and other more detailed case information are here.