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Decisions 2017 Archives

Hawaii - $10.25 Million Settlement Reached for Compensatory Services and Legal Fees.

E.R.K., by his legal guardian R.K., R.T.D., through his parents R.D. and M.D.; HAWAII DISABILITY RIGHTS CENTER, in a representative capacity on behalf of its clients and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, State of Hawaii, Defendant
U.S. District Court, Hawaii
December 8, 2017

Order Approving Settlement for Class Members

WHEREAS: This class action was filed, pursuant to FRCP 23(b)(2) in 2010 seeking to establish that the Defendant DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, State of Hawai'i ("HIDOE") was violating federal law by failing to provide special education and related services to students who were eligible for special education and related services until the later of (a) the date they earned a regular diploma, or, (b) age 22.

Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools - United States Supreme Court (2017)


On March 22, 2017 the U.S. Supreme Court Issued Unanimous Decision Overturning a 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Decision Limiting School Districts' Responsibilities Under the IDEA by Interpreting a FAPE to Mean Providing Merely "De Minimis" Benefit.

In a case called Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, parents of Endrew F. did not agree that a Colorado school district's Individualized Education Program (IEP) prepared for their son with autism, was reasonably calculated to provide him with a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) as required under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

A November 2015 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Makes it Clear that Districts in California Must Not Only Offer a Student with Special Needs a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), They Must Also Ensure a FAPE is Provided, Even if it Means Fi

When parents and school districts disagree about whether the placement and services offered in a Student's Individualized Education Program (IEP) are appropriate, a number of different things can occur. In order to resolve the dispute(s), the parties can hold additional IEP meetings to try to eventually come to an agreement; the district can file a due process complaint against the parents; or the parents can file a due process complaint against the district. If a party files a complaint requesting a due process hearing, and the parties are unable to come to an agreement prior to hearing, ultimately a judge will decide whether the placement and services offered provide a FAPE.

The U.S. Supreme Court Plans to Issue a Ruling sometime during the summer of 2017, which could really change things for Students with IEPs and School Districts' Responsibilities to those students.

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), School districts are required to provide eligible special needs students with a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). But what does that mean? What is appropriate for an individual student? How much progress should they make in order to determine that their IEP is appropriately designed to meet their needs?

U.S. Supreme Court Rules Unanimously on Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies, Differentiating Section 504 and ADA Claims from IDEA Claims (February 22, 2017)

On February 22, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court set a standard related to the rights of special needs students. The case refers to whether a parent must first use the formal administrative process to "adjudicate" or remedy their educationally-related complaints with a local educational agency (LEA), or whether they may file a lawsuit based on other discrimination claims under Section 504 or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

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