This article appeared on Supreme Court blog.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act gives federal funds to states that agree to offer a “free appropriate public education” (FAPE) to children with disabilities. An important part of providing a FAPE is the IEP, or individualized education program, which – among other things – must set forth a plan that is tailored to the unique needs of each child with a disability. In 1982, the Supreme Court ruled in Board of Education v. Rowley that an IEP must be “reasonably calculated to enable the child to receive educational benefits.”
Next week, the court will hear oral argument in the case of a Colorado boy who has asked the justices to clarify exactly what kind of “educational benefits” an IEP must provide: Is it enough that the benefit is simply non-trivial, or does the IDEA require more? The boy and his family argue…
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