This site will periodically highlight major new legal developments, with a focus on student issues under the IDEA and Sec. 504/ADA. 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 2018 Legal Update

This month’s legal alert focuses on two recent cases with costly consequences, one arising from a student’s concussion (Lincoln-Sudbury Regional School District v. Mr. and Mrs. W. (2018)), and the other, the failure to have the IEP ready at the start of the school year (School District of Philadelphia v. Kirsch (2018)).

Click here to download the update and read more.

Special Annual Supplement: Trumping Educational Policy

As a special supplement to the monthly updates, here’s a look-back for the year that reveals a shift in the federal education policy as part of President Trump’s overall agenda. Although you may well have noticed one or two of these events, the cumulative consistent effect is rather dramatic in terms of the reversal of direction. It portends significant changes not only for the immediate future but also the longer range in terms of the role of the U.S. Department of Education and its regulatory enforcement but also judicial interpretations of the IDEA and other key legislation in special and general education.

Click here to download “Shift in Educational Policy under the Trump Administration”

December 2017 Legal Update

December’s legal alert summarizes two recent court decisions that respectively focus on (a) when districts are liable for the attorneys’ fees of parents in IDEA cases (H.E. v. Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners Charter School (2017)), and (b) when the state education agencies are subject to suit for the complaint procedures mechanism for IDEA dispute resolution (Valenzuela v. Torlakson (Cal. Super. Ct. Oct. 25, 2017)).

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November Legal Update

November’s legal alert summarizes two recent federal appeals court decisions that respectively illustrate the scope of (a) the Section 504/ADA non-interference protection for special education personnel (Frakes v. Peoria School District No. 150 (2017)), and (b) the “prevailing party” status of parents for IDEA attorneys’ fees (Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners Charter School (2017)).

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October 2017 Legal Update

This latest monthly legal alert summarizes two recent officially published federal court decisions, R.E.B. v. Hawaii Department of Education (2017) and Richardson v. District of Columbia (2017), that respectively illustrate (a) an unusually rigorous interpretation of the requirements for IEPs, and (b) the continuing relaxed application of the requirements for evaluations.

Click here to download the update and read more.