Big win in court for disabled students

FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Supreme Court building is pictured in Washington, DC, U.S. on November 15, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo

On Wednesday, in a victory that will positively impact disabled students throughout the nation, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that special education programs need to meet higher standards.  According to Reuters, they stated special ed programs must be “reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child’s circumstances.” This is a big win, affording similar education standards to those that are disabled as those that are not get.

The ruling was long awaited, and it all began way back in 2012.  An autistic student, Endrew F, felt that his school in Colorado’s Douglas County had failed him.   His parents had originally enrolled him in a local public school in Denver, however after noticing that their son was not advancing , they decided to transfer him to a private school specializing in autism in 5th grade.  Since moving schools he began progressing quickly, and in 2012 his parents decided to sue the school district.

In 2015 the court sided against them.  According to Reuters, the courts stated that Endrew had made “some academic progress,” henceforth the district had done there job by providing “merely more than de minimus.”  However, on Wednesday, that decision was overturned by the Supreme Court.  It revealed a major disconnect between the opportunities offered to disabled students and those that are not disabled.

On Wednesday, according to Reuters, Chief Justice Roberts expressed his discontent with the current system, stating that “a student offered an educational program providing ‘merely more than de minimis’ progress from year to year can hardly be said to have been offered an education at all.”


Some content courtesy of Reuters.