< meta name="description" content="This issue of the Special Ed Advocate includes powerful new decision in autism case; Pete's analysis of Henrico School Board v. R. T., IDEA 2004 regulations update; California Supreme Court Reinstates Exit Exam for Class of 2006; Wrightslaw training; free special education law programs in Florida.">

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Date: May 31, 2006
Issue: 354
ISSN: 1538-3202

In this Issue


1. Parents Prevail in ABA Autism Case!

2. Analysis of Henrico Sch. Bd v. ET by Pete Wright


3. IDEA 2004 Regs Update (05/31/06)

4. CA Supreme Court Reinstates Exit Exam for Class of 2006

5. Summer Schedule: Wrightslaw Programs in PA, DE, FL, GA, TX, KY

6. Subscribe & Contact Info


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At Wrightslaw, our mission is to help you gain the knowledge and skills you need to navigate the confusing, changing world of special education.

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1. Parents Prevail in ABA Case, Costs Could Exceed Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars

On May 26, 2006, U. S. District Court Judge Robert Payne issued an extensive pro-child decision in Henrico County School Board v. R. T., a tuition reimbursement case on behalf of a child with autism. The judge found that the school system knowingly and repeatedly failed to provide an appropriate educational program for a young child with autism.

In awarding reimbursement for a private school that employs intensive one-on-one ABA therapy to educate children with autism, the judge slammed the School Board for inertia:

"The Court finds that the School Board’s conduct in this matter reflects the inertia to which Congress was referring when it wrote in the IDEA that 'the implementation of this chapter has been impeded by low expectations, and an insufficient focus on applying replicable research on proven methods of teaching and learning for children with disabilities.'" 20 U. S. C. § 1400(c)(4). Henrico County School Board v. R. T.

Download the decision in Henrico County School Board v. R. T.

More Autism Caselaw

More Special Education Caselaw


2. Analysis of Henrico School Board v. R. T. by Pete Wright

R. T. is a child with autism. In the Fall of 2002, his parents removed him from the public school special education program and placed him into the Faison School.

“At the Faison School, RT flourished” and made “rapid and significant progress.” Within a few months, RT went from being a nonverbal child to speaking at least 100 words." The parents sued for tuition reimbursement.

The decision in Henrico County School Board v. R. T. is very comprehensive and includes many excellent points that can be used in other types of cases on behalf of children with other disabilities.

Henrico County School Board v. R. T.
is on the level of Zachary Deal v. Hamilton County TN Board of Ed (6th Cir. 2004) and Bd. of Ed of Kanawha WV v. Michael M. in providing good quotes and logic to use in briefs and judicial decisions.

In Analysis of Henrico County School Board v. R.T. by Pete Wright, you will learn about
the Burden of Proof and Burden of Persuasion after the U. S. Supreme Court ruling in Schaffer v. Weast and the comprehensive analysis of ABA and TEACCH.

The decision describes what deference, if any, should be provided to school board programs, methodology, and the testimony of school board witnesses (e.g., "that Ms. Butler's assessment of RT is entitled to little weight because it is based on anecdotal, rather than systematic, data collection ... ")

Read Analysis of Henrico County School Board v. R.T. by Pete Wright.

More legal articles.


3. IDEA 2004 Regs Update (05/31/06)

We just learned that the IDEA 2004 regulations have left the Department of Education and are being reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

Pursuant to deadlines set by the rules, the final regulations are likely to be published in August 2006. However, exceptions can be invoked that may lead to further delays.

We will continue to post updates in The Special Ed Advocate newsletter and on Wrightslaw.

Proposed IDEA 2004 Regulations

IDEA 2004 at Wrightslaw
.


4. California Supreme Court Reinstates Exit Exam for Class of 2006

In 1999, the California Legislature passed legislation that requires students to pass exit exams in English and math before graduating from high school. The Class of 2006 is the first class to be affected by this requirement.

Subsequently, a group of five students sued the state, claiming the exit exam requirement discriminates against low-income and minority students in Valenzuela v. O'Connell.

Last week, the California Supreme Court overturned a lower court ruling and reinstated the exit exam requirement - at least temporarily. This ruling will affect 47,000 seniors who have not passed the exit exam. The court will accept briefs and hear oral arguments on the exit exam later this summer.

On May 30, the State School Superintendent described options that may be available for these students.

To learn more about the confusing exit exam situation in California - a situation that seems to change every week, read California Supreme Court Reinstates Exit Exam.

High Stakes Testing

As school districts and states come under increased pressure to improve educational results, high stakes testing has become a hot issue.

The Wrightslaw High Stakes Testing page includes articles, cases, free publications, and updates on high stakes testing litigation that will help help you advocate more effectively for your child.


5. Summer Schedule: Wrightslaw Programs in PA, DE, FL, GA, TX, KY

Wrightslaw offers a variety of special education law and advocacy programs taught by experts in the field of special education law and advocacy, including four
free programs in Florida (but you must act fast)!

The Summer 2006 schedule includes these programs:


June 7: Wilkes-Barre, PA - Special Education Advocacy Training with Pat Howey,;sponsored by Supporting Autism and Families Everywhere - SAFE.

June 14: Rehoboth Beach, DE - Special Ed Law & Advocacy Training with Pete and Pam Wright at the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel; sponsored by The Arc of Delaware. SOLD OUT!

July 11, 2006 - Tallahassee (Leon County Dept of Health) - What You Don't Know About IDEA 2004 CAN Hurt You; sponsored by Florida Developmental Disabilities Council (FDDC) - Free!

July 13, 2006 - Tampa (Shriners Hospital) - What You Don't Know About IDEA 2004 CAN Hurt You; sponsored by Florida Developmental Disabilities Council (FDDC) - Free!

July 15, 2006 - Miami (Wayside Baptist Church) - What You Don't Know About IDEA 2004 CAN Hurt You; sponsored by Florida Developmental Disabilities Council (FDDC) - Free!

July 17, 2006 - Ft. Lauderdale (NSU/NOVA) - What You Don't Know About IDEA 2004 CAN Hurt You; sponsored by Florida Developmental Disabilities Council (FDDC) - Free !

July 19:
Atlanta, GA - Special Education Law & Advocacy Training at the National Fragile X Foundation’s 10th International Fragile X Conference. Speakers: Pete and Pam Wright

August 3: Austin, TX - Special Education Law & Advocacy Training sponsored by Texas Parent to Parent, Speakers: Wayne Steedman and Pat Howey

August 4: Louisville, KY - Special Education Law & Advocacy Training sponsored by KY-SPIN & Community Parent Resource Center .Speakers: Pete and Pam Wright

August 15: Philadelphia, PA - Special Education Law & Advocacy Training sponsored by the North Penn Special Education Council. Speakers: Pete and Pam Wright

2006-2007 Schedule
l Program Descriptions


Online Training Countdown! Progress report from Pete & Pam (we are still doing training programs!)

We are scheduling programs for 2007. If you are interested in bringing a Wrightslaw program to your community, please read Conference Information.


6. Subscription & Contact Info

The Special Ed Advocate
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Contact Info

Pete and Pam Wright
Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043
Website: http://www.wrightslaw.com
Email: webmaster@wrightslaw.com

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