MONTHLY LEGAL UPDATES

This site will periodically highlight major new legal developments. To sign up for email notifications of these updates, please scroll all the way down the page (if viewing on a mobile device) or scroll right (if viewing on a desktop computer). Thanks!

March 2017 Legal Update #2: Special Issue for Endrew F.

This month has a special second alert for the Supreme Court’s March 22, 2017 decision in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District RE-1, which  revisited and refined the Rowley (1982) interpretation of the substantive standard for IEPs.  Click to read my immediate “take” on this centrally significant decision, which directly addresses one side of FAPE and indirectly serves as a reminder of the modern interpretation of the procedural side of this “centerpiece” of the IDEA.

March 2017 Legal Update #1

This month’s update provides the highlights and practical implications of one major legal development, plus a customizable Section 504 eligibility form:

  • The U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision on Feb. 22, 2017 that demarcated the scope of the IDEA’s exhaustion provision, which concerns whether parents must complete the impartial hearing process before proceeding in court.
  • In the absence of a second major legal development during the past four weeks, this month’s Alert provides the attached Section 504 eligibility form, which may be customized for local use with due acknowledgment per the asterisked note at the bottom of the form.

Click to download the March update.

February 2017 Legal Update

This month’s alert provides the following additions to your legal currency:

  • The Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which encompasses CT, NY, and VT and which is the most active federal appeals court under the IDEA, recently issued a significant decision that largely pierces or erodes the methodology barrier.
  • The Supreme Court has held oral arguments in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District Re-1, and a decision is expected later in this term of the Court, most likely in May or June.

Click to download February’s legal alert.

January 2017 Legal Update

This month’s alert provides the following additions to your legal currency:

  • Court decisions specific to response to intervention (RTI) continue to be limited in number, legal weight, and implementation guidance. A recent decision from Connecticut is a partial exception.
  • My recent legal update specific to gifted students, published in the current issue of the Journal for Education of the Gifted (v. 39, pp. 315–337), partly overlaps with the law specific to students with disabilities.

Click to download January 2017’s legal alert (zirkel-legal-alert-january-2017).

December 2016 Legal Update

As the latest additions to your legal currency, this month’s alert provides the principal findings of an empirical analysis of the case law concerning the procedural dimension of FAPE, as reported in the following new journal article:

Perry A. Zirkel & Allyse Hetrick, (2016). Which procedural parts of the IEP process are most judicially vulnerable? Exceptional Children, 83 (2), 219-235. doi: 10.1177/0014402916651849

Click to download December 2016’s legal alert.