ERIC Number: ED311681
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Must Public Schools Provide Services for Severely Handicapped Children? Policy Bulletin No. 4.
In a federal court case (Timothy W. versus Rochester School District), a public school district was relieved of any obligation to provide special education services for a disabled child who was considered incapable of benefiting from educational services. This case has raised significant questions regarding the scope of school districts' obligations under the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EHA). The judge reasoned that the ability to benefit from instruction is a prerequisite to the school district's provision of educational services, and that children who do not have learning capacity are not intended to receive special education. The judge noted that the child must be evaluated regularly for signs of development which indicate a capability to benefit from special education. This case has significant implications for school districts in terms of: (1) making threshold judgements regarding whether specific handicapped children are covered by the EHA, and (2) determining responsibility for maintenance costs associated with severely handicapped children's residential placements. Discussed in this bulletin are the legal precedents supporting the court decision, the reaction of advocacy groups for the handicapped, and the question of expending funds from educational budgets to support residential placements. (JDD)
Descriptors: Court Litigation, Educational Responsibility, Elementary Secondary Education, Federal Courts, Federal Legislation, Legal Responsibility, Public Schools, Residential Institutions, Role of Education, School Responsibility, Severe Disabilities, Special Education, Student Needs, Student Placement
Consortium on Educational Policy Studies, Education, Suite 326, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Indiana Univ., Bloomington. School of Education.
Authoring Institution: Consortium on Educational Policy Studies, Bloomington, IN.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Education for All Handicapped Children Act