IDEA/Transition Services, Graduation, & Cost Issues (School Law Cases and Concepts, p. 356-359) Michelle Duke MED 6490 February 23, 2010
In 1990 Congress Amended the IDEA to require the provision of transition services* for children with disabilities. • A coordinated set of activities designed to transition students from school to beyond school activities. • Instruction • Life skills • Employment skills • Adult living skills *
1997 Amendment to IDEA: • A statement of the transition service needs must be included in the IEP beginning at age 14 and updated annually. • Based on the student’s needs • Built upon the student’s strengths, preferences, abilities, and interests
2004 Amendment to IDEA: • Defined transition services as “designed to be within a results-oriented process, that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child to facilitate the child’s transition from school to postschool activities.20 U.S.C. § 1401(2004).
GRADUATION • Child is eligible for graduation if the IEP goals are met • Parents must be notified of this change in placement • Maximum age for IDEA eligibility is 21. However, if the state does not provide public education for non-disabled students from ages 18 - 21, it is not required to provide special education for 18 to 21-year-olds with disabilities.
COMPETENCY EXAMS Courts have upheld competency exam requirements, even for students with disabilities, as long as the students were given prior notice of the general contents of the exam and an opportunity to learn the required academic content. Brookhart v. Illinois State Board of Education, 697 F.2d.179 (7th Cir.1983).
COST ISSUES Board of Education v. Rowley 458 U.S 176; 102 S. Ct. 3034; 73 L. Ed. 2d 690 (1982) Amy Rowley was a deaf student who was an excellent lip reader. She was successful in a regular ed. Kindergarten class where several school staff members became proficient in ASL. Amy had an FM hearing aid to amplify words spoken into a wireless microphone by teachers and students. The school also installed a teletype communication device to communicate with her parents, who were also deaf. In the fall of her first grade year, her parents insisted on a sign-language interpreter, but school administrators deemed it unnecessary. The Rowleys demanded a hearing and ultimately sued.
Board of Education v. Rowley HOLDING: The court held that schools are not required to provide superior special education and services regardless of the cost. They need only be appropriate for the child and sufficient to provide educational benefits
Springdale School District v. GraceU.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Cir. 693 F.2d 41 • The school district wanted Sherry Grace to be sent to the Arkansas School for the Deaf. • The district court held that the Springdale School could provide Sherry Grace, a profoundly and prelingually deaf child, with a free and appropriate education pursuant to the mandate of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975, 20 U.S.C. Secs. 1401 et seq. (the Act), and ordered the school to furnish Sherry with a certified teacher of the deaf.
In concluding that this relief satisfied the requirements of the Act, the district court specifically adopted the standard for an "appropriate education" set forth in Rowley v. Board of Education
At Issue: Least restrictive environment • Roncker v. Walter, U.S. Court of Appeals, 700 F. 2d 1058 (1983) • In this appeal, the plaintiff challenged the placement of her retarded son under the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975, 20 U.S.C. Sec. 1401 • After evaluating Neill, the school district decided to place him in a county school. Since the county school was exclusively for mentally retarded children, Neill would have received no contact with non-handicapped children.
The plaintiff's son, Neill Roncker, was nine years old and is severely mentally retarded. He was classified as Trainable Mentally Retarded (TMR), a category of children with an IQ of below 50. Less severely retarded students are classified as Educable Mentally Retarded (EMR) and are generally educated in special classes within the regular public schools. • Neillhad a mental age of two to three with regard to most functions. Neill also suffered from seizures but they were not convulsive and he took medication to control them. • No evidence indicated that Neill was dangerous to others but he did require almost constant supervision because of his inability to recognize dangerous situations. • Neill was evaluated and recommended for the Arlitt Child Development Center. It was believed that he would benefit from contact with non-handicapped children.
Roncker v. Walter, 700 F2d. 1058 (6th Circuit Court 1993) addressed the issue of "bringing educational services to the child" versus "bringing the child to the services". • The case was resolved in favor of integrated versus segregated placement and established a principle of portability; that is, " if a desirable service currently provided in a segregated setting can feasibly be delivered in an integrated setting, it would be inappropriate under PL 94-142 to provide the service in a segregated environment"
Questions used to determine whether mainstreaming can be accomplished: • What is it in the segregated program that makes it better than a mainstreaming program? • Can these things (modified curriculum, teacher) be provided in the regular school environment?
COST ISSUES "It is not enough for a district to simply claim that a segregated program is superior: In a case where the segregated facility is considered superior, the court should determine whether the services which make the placement superior could be feasibly provided in a non-segregated setting (i.e. regular class). If they can, the placement in the segregated school would be inappropriate under the act (I.D.E.A.)." Roncker v. Walter, 700 F.2d 1058 (6th Cir.) at 1063, cert. denied, 464 U.S. 864 (1983) The Roncker Court found that placement decisions must be individually made. School districts that automatically place children in a predetermined type of school solely on the basis of their disability (e.g., mentally retardation) rather than on the basis of the IEP, violate federal laws.