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ERIC Number: EJ842566
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 22
ISSN: ISSN-0040-0599
The U.S. Supreme Court and Special Education: 2005 to 2007
Yell, Mitchell L.; Ryan, Joseph B.; Rozalski, Michael E.; Katsiyannis, Antonis
TEACHING Exceptional Children, v41 n3 p68-75 Jan-Feb 2009
The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has spawned much litigation in which parents of children with disabilities and school districts disagree over the content of a student's special education. The majority of this litigation has occurred in the federal district courts. The federal court system consists of more than 100 U.S. District Courts, 13 U.S. Courts of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court. The most significant of these federal courts is the U.S. Supreme Court. Supreme Court rulings are of tremendous importance because they establish the legal standard for, and must be followed throughout, the entire country. In the 30 years since the passage of the IDEA, from 1975 to 2005, the Supreme Court had only heard seven cases ("Board of Education v. Rowley," 1982; "Burlington School Committee v. Department of Education of Massachusetts," 1985; "Cedar Rapids Community School District v. Garret F.," 1999; "Florence County School District v. Carter," 1993; "Honig v. Doe," 1988; "Irving Independent School District v. Tatro," 1984; "Smith v. Robinson," 1984) that directly involved students with disabilities and the IDEA. In the period from 2005 to 2007, the Supreme Court heard four cases on special education and issued rulings in three of these cases. This represents a significant increase in the special education cases heard by the high court. These rulings are of great importance to students with disabilities, their parents, and school districts. Moreover, the three rulings all addressed the procedural rights of parents. In this article, the authors review these decisions. They first provide a brief synopsis of the procedural rights that the IDEA provides to parents. Second, they review the three rulings and briefly explain the fourth case in which the high court did not issue a ruling. Third, they address the implications of these cases for educators and parents. (Contains 1 figure.)
Council for Exceptional Children. 1110 North Glebe Road Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22201. Tel: 888-232-7733; Fax: 703-264-9494; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act