The U.S. Supreme Court has set Jan. 11 as the date that it will hear a case revolving around the level of benefit that special education is supposed to provide to students with disabilities.
Special education observers have said the case, Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, has major implications for students and for school districts in regards to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
In a 1982 case, the Supreme Court said that the IDEA requires instruction that is “reasonably calculated to enable the child to receive educational benefit.” The court intentionally declined to say just how much benefit would be adequate.
But lower courts have grappled with that question and come up with different terms.
The plaintiff in the Endrew case is now a 17-year-old student with autism. In 2010, his parents pulled him out of the 66,000-student Douglas County, Colo., district because they said he wasn’t making any meaningful educational progress in public school. The parents argued that the district should be required to pay for Drew’s private school tuition.
The parents lost at the lower-court levels, but appealed to the Supreme Court.
A version of this article appeared in the December 14, 2016 edition of Education Week as High Court Sets Date to Hear Special Education Case