This page includes links to the
decisions in the Carter case, the "Untold Story of Carter,"
and resources about the U. S. Supreme Court.
How the Carter Case Evolved
U. S. District Court Decision.
After Shannon's parents lost at Due Process and Review, they placed
Shannon into Trident Academy and sued for tuition in Federal Court.
Judge Houck appointed his own expert, charted out Shannon's educational
test data. Judge Houck concluded that Florence County's IEP that Shannon
would progress from the 4.4 reading grade level to the 4.8 grade level,
after one year of special education, was wholly inadequate. U.
S. District Court Decision, Shannon Carter v. Florence County
Florence County Takes Their Case to
the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Florence County
appealed to the Fourth Circuit. They argued that four months of progress
in reading was appropriate. They also argued that because Trident
Academy was not on the State's non-existent "approved" list of schools,
Shannon's parents could not be reimbursed for her tuition at the private
school. In their decision, the Fourth Circui discussed "least restrictive
environment" issues, and a contrary Second Circuit case. This ruling
in Shannon's favor created a "split" among circuits that opened the
door to a further appeal. Fourth
Circuit Court of Appeals Decision, Florence County v. Shannon Carter.
Oral Argument Before the U. S. Supreme
On October 6, 1993, the U. S. Supreme
Court heard Oral Arguments in the Carter case. The transcript is available
in two formats.
Transcript of Oral Argument before
the U. S. Supreme Court.
In Adobe Acrobat: http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/caselaw/Carter_Oral_Argument.pdf
(To read the pdf file, you need Adobe
Reader which is available free at http://www.adobe.com)
U. S. Supreme Court Issues Unanimous
On November 9, 34 days after oral argument,
the Supreme Court issued a unanimous 9-0 decision for Shannon.
The justices ruled that if public school defaults and the child receives
an appropriate education in a private placement, the parents are entitled
to be reimbursed for the education that should have been provided
by the School District. The case is "styled" Florence
County School District Four v. Shannon Carter, 510 U.S. 7, (1993).
Information about the Carter case
and the U. S. Supreme Court
County School District IV v. Shannon Carter: The Untold Story
The story behind the story and Pete's involvement in the case and
preparation for argument before the Fourth Circuit and U.S. Supreme
Court is in our "Advocacy Library" and known as "The Untold Story."
Generations at the Supreme Court
On October 6, 1993, Shannon Carter and Roger Saunders traveled to
Washington, DC to hear Pete's oral argument before the U. S. Supreme
Court. This article discusses the impact of the Orton Dyslexia Society
members (now International Dyslexia Association) Helene Dubrow, Diana
Hanbury King, Roger Saunders, and Linda Summer.
The U. S. Supreme Court
Although the U. S. Supreme Court does
not maintain an official web site, you will find lots of information
about the Court on the Internet.
Information Institute from Cornell University: Supreme Court Collection
S. Supreme Court Newsletter
Subscribers receive an e-mail bulletin containing summary and analysis
of important patent appeals decisions of the U.S. Court of Appeals
for the Federal Circuit within days after they have been handed down
and placed on the Internet, along with instructions on how to access
those decisions in full text.
For subscription instructions, go to
Search and view full text of U. S. Supreme Court Decisions from 1937
The U. S. Supreme Court Multimedia
Database From Northwestern University
a "Virtual Tour" of the Supreme Court.
Legal Resources From Wrightslaw
Includes caselaw, articles about tactics and strategy, special education
Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
Free newsletter about legal and advocacy issues from Wrightslaw.
Special Education Law by Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright.
Includes the full text of the Individuals with Disabilities Act, Section
504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Family Educational Rights and Privacy
Act, and implementing regulations; decisions in landmark special education
cases by the U. S. Supreme Court.
Wrightslaw Special Education
Wrightslaw Special Education