Post-Forest Grove Parental Reimbursement for Private School Placements: What about the Parents Who Cannot Afford the Cost of Such Placements?

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Education Law Reporter


Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, students with disabilities, reimbursement, private school, idea


However, for some parents of children with disabilities, the services available in a private school through the consultative process may be inadequate and parents must then consider whether to leave the child in a public school or personally pay to enroll the child in a private school that has the full range of services needed by that child. Parents who make this enrollment decision may then seek reimbursement from the public school district for the costs associated with attendance at the private school, generally alleging the public school's failure to provide a FAPE. ...

This article addresses the difficult public policy issue as to whether the Supreme Court's allowing for a remedy of reimbursement under the IDEA amounts to an advantage for the children of parents with financial resources. As reflected in the following paragraph, the Supreme Court has rendered three decisions addressing reimbursement creating heartening parents and their children with disabilities “to know that private tuition reimbursement was available without their having to tread water in special education settings decreed by inadequate Individualized Education Programs. However, the absence of clear guidelines from the Supreme Court has meant that lower federal courts have had to progress from an “unworkable roadmap” that has resulted in individual decisions being made “with only vague clues as to what comprises an appropriate public education.


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