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Special Education Law Library:
IDEA Statute and Regulations

The Law Libraries at Wrightslaw include:

Note: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997 was reauthorized in 2004. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004) took effect on July 1, 2005.

IDEA 2004 Statute - Changes in Key Statutes

IDEA 2004: Section 1400 - Finding and Purposes
IDEA 2004: Section 1401 - Definitions
IDEA 2004: Section 1412 - State Responsibilities ("Catchall" statute) - includes child find, personnel standards, notice
IDEA 2004: Section 1414 - Evaluations, Reevaluations and IEPs
IDEA 2004: Section 1415 - Procedural Safeguards (Rules of Procedure)
- includes protections for children with disabilities and their parents, prior written notice, mediation, due process

Memorandum from US Dept of Education

Questions About Testing? Assessment? Download this Memorandum from OSEP About Assessment for Children with Disabilities (in pdf)  Download OSEP Memorandum on Assessment in rich text.

Joint Policy Memorandum on ADD by Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. Clarifies that children with ADD/ADHD are eligible for special education services under IDEA and Section 504 protections. 

Special Education Advocacy

Please go to the Advocacy Library for articles about special education advocacy, Frequently Asked Questions, and the Archives of the Special Ed Advocate newsletter.

Note to Non-lawyers 

U.S. Supreme Court cases are supreme. Cases from U. S. Courts of Appeals are the next highest level of judicial decisions. Rulings from a U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals will have binding authority over the Courts in the states of that Circuit. 

Other Circuits and other states may not be bound by a ruling from a different circuit, but may rely upon the decision as "persuasive authority." Thus, it is important to stay on top of the rulings of  the U. S. Courts of Appeals. 

When the Circuits have "split" rulings on the same issue, i.e., different legal outcomes from similar issues of fact and or law, then the cases have a higher probability of being accepted for review by the U. S. Supreme Court. 

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Last updated: 09/25/08

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