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Date: August 22, 2006
Issue: 364
ISSN: 1538-3202

In this Issue


1. Judge Rules, "To Allow School Bd to Avoid Obligations Would Be Unconscionable"

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

3. Stephen Jeffers v. School Bd - Based on True Story, Real Case

4. Autism, ASD, PDD, Asperger Syndrome

5. Wrightslaw Programs in MI, WA, NC, WV, OH, PA, IL

Boot Camps in FL & MD


6. Subscription & Contact Info


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

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Thanks from Pete and Pam Wright!


1. Judge Rules, "To Allow the School Board to Avoid Its Obligations Would Be Unconscionable"

In the May 31 issue of The Special Ed Advocate, you learned about the powerful, pro-child decision in Henrico County School Board v. R.T.

R. T. is a child with autism. In 2002, R.T.'s parents removed him from the public school gram and placed him into the Faison School, a private school that uses one-on-one ABA therapy to educate children with autism.

In the first decision in Henrico County School Board v. R. T., U. S. District Court Judge Payne awarded the parents reimbursement for their child's tuition at the school.

The Judge found that the school district knowingly and repeatedly failed to provide an appropriate educational program for a young child with autism and slammed the School Board for "inertia."

On June 14, Judge Payne issued a second decision in R.T.'s case.

Henrico County School Board v. R. T.-2 deals with reimbursement for the child's tuition after the Hearing Officer issued a favorable decision. The School Board argued that they were not bound by a regulation that required them to reimburse the parents because the regulation violated the the Spending Clause of the Constitution.



In this decision, the Judge analyzed the School Board's argument and why it cannot be upheld:"Having agreed to comply with the IDEA ... and having accepted and spent federal IDEA funding, the School Board cannot now avoid the obligations ... to allow that would be unconscionable ... it would offend every principle of equity and good morals to permit (a party to a transaction) to enjoy its benefits and at the same time deny its terms and conditions."

The second decision in Henrico School Bd v. R.T.-2 includes an excellent discussion of FAPE, least restrictive environment (LRE), the use of due process hearings to resolve disagreements about a child's program or placement, when school districts must reimburse parents for a private placement, the 10 day notice letter, requirements that states must meet to receive federal funding under IDEA.

Read the first decision in Henrico County School Board v. R.T. at http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/caselaw/06/henrico.va.rt.htm

Read the second decision in Henrico County School Board v. R.T.-2 as a pdf file at http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/caselaw/06/henrico.va.rt-2.pdf



More autism caselaw
.

More special education caselaw.


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

R. T. is a young child with autism. His parents removed him from the public school special education program and placed him into the Faison School. Later, the parents requested a due process hearing where they received a favorable decision. The school system appealed.

U. S. District Court Judge Payne found that “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 decisions in Henrico County School Board v. R. T. and Henrico County School Board v. R.T.-2 are comprehensive and include excellent points that provide logic and quotes to use in briefs and judicial decisions.

In this Analysis of Henrico County School Board v. R.T., Pete Wright discusses the first decision, including Burden of Proof and Burden of Persuasion after the U. S. Supreme Court ruling in Schaffer v. Weast and the analysis of ABA and TEACCH. The first decision also describes the deference, if any, that should be provided to school board programs, methodology, and to testimony by school board witnesses.

Read Pete Wright's Analysis of Henrico County School Board v. R.T. at
http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/art/henrico.rt.pwanalysis.htm

More articles in the Special Education Law Library.


3. Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board is Based on True Story, Real Case

Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board is based on the true story of a young child with autism.

Like the parents in Henrico School Bd v. R.T., the parents in Stephen Jeffers v. School Board placed their child in a school that specializes in educating young children with autism. After the child made good progress, the parents requested that the school district reimburse them for his tuition. When the school district refused, the parents requested a special education due process hearing.

Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board
takes you through their education due process hearing, from initial preparations to testimony by the final witness. Some of the witnesses for the child in Stephen Jeffers v. School Board were witnesses in Henrico School Bd v. R.T..

Trailers: Watch the trailer in Quicktime or on Windows Media Player

Note: Surviving Due Process is not disability-specific. With different evidence and witnesses, this could easily be a case about a child with a different disability or a different legal issue.


4. Autism, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), Asperger Syndrome (AS)

If you are like many parents, teachers, and health care providers, you have questions about special education services for children with autism, autism spectrum disorders, Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD) and Asperger Syndrome.

If you are the parent of a child with one of these conditions, it is essential that you educate yourself about your child's disability, the impact of the disability on the child's ability to learn, research based educational methods, and how to present your child's problems and needs to school personnel so they want to help.

Visit our updated and revised Autism, ASD, PDD & Asperger Syndrome page for new articles, cases, resources, free publications, and information and support groups.


5. Fall Schedule: Special Ed Law & Advocacy Programs in MI, WA, NC, WV, OH, PA, IL - Boot Camps in FL & MD

Wrightslaw offers a variety of special education law and advocacy programs taught by nationally-known experts in the field. Our Fall 2006 schedule includes these programs.

September 22: Stevensville, MI - Special Education Law & Advocacy Training by Wayne Steedman and Pat Howey, sponsored by Autism in Berrien County Speaks. Register

September 30: Seattle, WA - Special Education Advocacy Training by advocate and paralegal Pat Howey, sponsored by the Snohomish County Developmental Disabilities Family Support Grant. How to Register

October 5: Winston-Salem, NC - Special Education Law & Advocacy Training sponsored by CenterPoint Human Services. Speakers: Pete and Pam Wright.  Download Registration Form.

October 13: Wheeling, WV
- Special Education Law Training sponsored by Augusta Levy Learning Center. Speaker Wayne Steedman. Download Registration Form

October 17:
Cleveland, OH - Special Education Law & Advocacy Training sponsored by The Up Side of Downs of Greater Cleveland. Speakers Pete and Pam Wright. Download Registration Form

October 19
: Erie, PA - Special Education Law & Advocacy Training sponsored by Voices for Independence. Speakers: Pete and Pam Wright  Download Flyer & Registration Form

October 28:
Champaign, IL - Special Education Law & Advocacy Training sponsored by the C-U Autism Network. Speakers: Wayne Steedman and Pat HoweyDownload Registration Form.

* Boot Camps *

November 4-5: Ft. Lauderdale, FL - Special Education Law & Advocacy Bootcamp sponsored by the Unicorn Children's Foundation. Speakers: Wayne Steedman and Pat Howey.  Download Flyer & Registration Form

November 10-11: Columbia, MD - Special Education Law & Advocacy Boot Camp sponsored by the Howard County Autism Society. Speakers: Pete and Pam WrightDownload Flyer & Registration Form

2006-2007 Schedule
l Program Descriptions l Online Training

We are now scheduling programs for 2007 and 2008. If you are interested in bringing a Wrightslaw program to your community, please read the Conference Information.


6. Subscription & Contact Info

The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education legal and advocacy issues, cases, and tactics and strategies. Newsletter subscribers also receive "alerts" about new cases, events, and special offers on Wrightslaw books. Subscribe

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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: newsletter@wrightslaw.com

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