News

District Proposal Would Establish Segregated School for Students with Disabilities

UPDATE: The vote on this proposal has twice been postponed. We urge the Commission to reject the proposal in its current form, and we ask the District to work with parents and advocates to develop an alternate proposal to be considered at the July 6 meeting. The School District of Philadelphia is requesting that the School […]

US Supreme Court Advances Rights of Special Education Students; Student Supported by Law Center Amicus Brief Prevails

The US Supreme Court unanimously rejected the position of six circuit courts that federal law was met if a school provided “merely more than de minimis” progress to a student with a disability. The decision on March 22, 2017 was in the case of Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District RE-1.

Oral Argument Held in Special Education Case

The oral argument before the Supreme Court in the case of Endrew, a Colorado student with autism, took place on January 11th, 2017. The case began when Endrew’s parents sued the public school district for failing to address Endrew’s educational needs after observing how much he improved in a private school specializing in educating children with autism. Their request for reimbursement for the private school tuition was rejected under the “just-above-trivial” standard adopted by the Tenth Circuit. The “just-above-trivial” standard is incompatible with the goal of securing a fair education for all children, and in turn this case advocates for adopting a uniform national standard.

Law Center Welcomes New Disproportionality Rule

In the final month of the Obama Administration, the U.S. Department of Education finalized a rule to address the disproportionate placement of students into special education programs on the basis of race and ethnicity. The new rule requires states and school districts to use a standardized methodology to identify such disproportionate placements.

Urging Governor Wolf to Propose $400 Million in New Basic Education Funding

The Law Center co-signed a letter sent to Governor Tom Wolf on January 3 that called for $400 million in new funding for K-12 schools next year:

The Cost of Adequate Education Funding: An Updated Report

We conclude that in order for districts to have adequate funding to enable their students to meet state standards, the Commonwealth must provide school districts with between $3.036 and $4.073 billion more in additional funding than it is distributing for the 2016-17 school year.

Law Center Submits Amicus Brief in Special Education Case

The Law Center and its partners submitted an amicus brief on the merits of a case regarding special education and the degree of educational benefit required under Free Appropriate Public Education.

Solicitor General Weighs in on Special Education Case

The Solicitor General weighed in on a petition for cert in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District RE-1, siding with parents on the question of the standard under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to measure whether a child has received a free and appropriate public education (FAPE).

State: Philly Failed to Provide Transportation to Students with Disabilities

The Pennsylvania Department of Education recently issued a ruling that during the 2014-2015 school year the School District of Philadelphia deprived students with disabilities of transportation as required under federal law.

Transportation for Students with Disabilities in Philadelphia

The Law Center recently signed on to a letter to help advocate for the transportation needs of students with disabilities in Philadelphia.