The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
April 24, 2001

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Issue: 111
ISSN: 1538-3202

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Highlights: New decision about prevailing party and attorney’s fees; U. S. Supreme Court does not grant cert, the decision in Joe James’ case stands; join us for a 2-day intensive training program. 

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1. New Decision: Prevailing Party & Attorney's Fees 

On February 7, 2000, Virginia Hearing Officer Raymond Davis ruled in Pete’s favor and held that the Virginia Department of Education must pay the private school tuition of a student with dyslexia. 

Download the Hearing Officer’s decision in pdf. 

In this case, the parents prevailed in a special education Review Hearing. The school district appealed the case to state court. While the case was on appeal, in violation of the federal regulations, the district refused to pay the child’s tuition. The state refused to require the school district to pay. 

The parents requested a due process hearing against the state for their failure to enforce the law. The state argued that the federal regulation was invalid. The hearing officer did not accept this argument and ordered the state to pay. Following this decision, the state paid the child’s tuition and continues to pay. 

But the state refused to pay attorney’s fees for this litigation. They claimed that the parents did not prevail in this litigation and that the state was immune under the Eleventh Amendment. 

On April 12, 2001, the U. S. District Court dismissed the state’s arguments and ordered the state to pay Pete’s attorney’s fees. Download the District Court decision (in pdf). 

2. Supreme Court Allows Decision in Joe James' Case to Stand 

On September 28, 2000, Pete received a favorable ruling from the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in another tuition reimbursement case. Get the Opinion from the Sixth Circuit. In html     In pdf

The Sixth Circuit dismissed arguments raised by Upper Arlington School District that they were not required to offer an IEP unless the child was re-enrolled in the program that had damaged him previously. When Upper Arlington asked the Sixth Circuit to reconsider their ruling, the Court refused. 

Upper Arlington appealed to the U. S. Supreme Court. Would Joe James’ case go up?

Pete filed a brief in Joe's case with the U. S. Supreme Court last month. You can download the cover page, table of contents, and brief from these URLs:

URL:  https://www.wrightslaw.com/law/pleadings/james_ua_ussupct_cover.pdf

URL: https://www.wrightslaw.com/law/pleadings/james_ua_ussupct_toc.pdf

URL: https://www.wrightslaw.com/law/pleadings/james_ua_ussupct_brief.pdf

On April 23, 2001, the U. S. Supreme Court issued an Order and denied Upper Arlington’s Petition for Certiorari. The ruling of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Joe's case was upheld

3. Intensive Special Education Law & Advocacy Training Program (May 4 & 5, 2001)

On May 4 and May 5, 2001, Pete and Pam will present a twelve-hour program about special education law and advocacy in Columbia, SC. The registration fee for parents is just $50.00 for both days. Registrants will receive Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, Deluxe edition with CD-ROM (Retail value: $39.95).

This two-day program is the most comprehensive legal and advocacy training program we have offered to date. 

DAY 1 focuses on special education law. 

DAY 2 focuses on parent advocacy. 

We will use Wrightslaw: Special Education Law for legal training. Day 2 will track our new book about special education advocacy (Publication date: Summer 2001)

Registrations have come from parents and professionals from the Southeastern states, and from New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Pete and Pam Wright and many registrants will stay at the Hampton Inn Columbia-Downtown, Columbia, SC 29201 (Phone: 803-231-2000).

Download and print the brochure for this conference

Download the conference agenda.

This conference is sponsored by PRO-Parents of South Carolina and the South Carolina Autism Society. For more information and to register, please call PRO-Parents at 803-779-3859 or 800-759-4776.

We hope to see you in Columbia!


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Wrightslaw: Special Education Legal Developments and Cases 2019, by Pam and Pete Wright
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Wrightslaw: All About IEPs
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Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments
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Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board
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