The decision in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District could have far-reaching implications for the 6.5 million students with disabilities in the United States.
The case centered on a child with autism and attention deficit disorder whose parents removed him from public school in fifth grade. He went on to make better progress in a private school. His parents argued that the individualized education plan provided by the public school was inadequate, and they sued to compel the school district to pay his private school tuition.
The Supreme Court today sided with the family, overturning a lower court ruling in the school district’s favor.
The case was about whether public schools have a duty to do more then the bare minimum in providing services to special needs students.
Those of us who have worked with special needs students, even in the more prosperous districts, know that it is a constant battle when fighting for students with needs.
For me, each year the Park Ridge District 64 administration and board, including special education administrators, would cut support services and staff. And every year, even in the years we won, a full trimester would have been wasted waging the fight.