ERIC Number: EJ919362
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct
Reference Count: 8
Know the Law: Reimbursement under the IDEA
Osborne, Allan G., Jr.; Rehberg, Megan L.
School Business Affairs, v75 n9 p18-20 Oct 2009
When school boards fail to provide the free appropriate public education (FAPE) guaranteed in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), students with disabilities and their parents can be compensated in various ways. One of the more common remedies is to reimburse parents for tuition and other costs they may have incurred in obtaining special-education and related services privately. In spite of numerous cases on the issue of tuition reimbursement and an IDEA amendment that delineates conditions under which parents can be reimbursed for private school tuition, litigation in this area continues. In "Forest Grove School District v. T.A." (2008), the Supreme Court handed down its third pronouncement on tuition reimbursement, this time addressing whether a parent who places a child with a disability in a private school is entitled to tuition reimbursement if the child has never attended a public school. The Court held that students are not barred categorically from receiving private school reimbursement simply because they did not receive public school services first. Although critics of "Forest Grove" may argue that it will result in a significant increase in unilateral private school placements, resulting in tens of thousands of unexpected and unbudgeted expenditures, the reality is not so grim. As in the past, to be reimbursed, parents will have to show that school boards failed to provide a FAPE and that their unilateral placements in private schools provided an appropriate education for their children.
Descriptors: Public Education, Public Schools, Disabilities, Court Litigation, Private Schools, Tuition, Economic Impact, School Responsibility, Identification, Access to Education, Administrator Role, Knowledge Level
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A