COVID-19   Law    Advocacy    Topics A-Z     Training    Wrights' Blog   Wrightslaw Store    Yellow Pages for Kids 
 Home > News > Individuals with Disabilities Education Act - IDEA Burden of Proof - On Parents or Schools? (August 9 2005)

The Special Ed Advocate newsletter
It's Unique ... and Free!

Enter your email address below:

Training Programs

Mar. 23 - Anchorage, AK

Apr. 11+12 - Virginia (via Zoom)

Apr. 20 - Cleveland, OH

Apr. 24+25 - Southern CA (via Zoom)

Sept. 14 - Hill AFB UT

Sept. 28 - Hartford, CT

Sept. 30 - Dallas, TX

Nov. 2 - Long Island, NY

Full Schedule


Topics from A-Z
Free Newsletter
Seminars & Training
Yellow Pages for Kids
Press Room

Books & Training

Wrightslaw Storesecure store lock
  Advocate's Store
  Student Bookstore
  Exam Copies
Training Center
Bulk Discounts
Military Discounts
Student Discounts
Mail & Fax Orders

Advocacy Library

Cool Tools
Doing Your Homework
Ask the Advocate
Newsletter Archives
Short Course Series
Success Stories

Law Library

Fed Court Complaints
IDEA 2004
McKinney-Vento Homeless
Section 504


American Indian
Assistive Technology
Autism Spectrum
Behavior & Discipline
College/Continuing Ed
Due Process
Early Intervention
  (Part C)

Episodic, such as
   Allergies, Asthma,
   Diabetes, Epilepsy, etc

Future Planning
High-Stakes Tests
Homeless Children
IDEA 2004
Identification & Child Find
Juvenile Justice
Law School & Clinics
Letters & Paper Trails
LRE / Inclusion
Military / DOD
Parental Protections
PE and Adapted PE
Privacy & Records
Procedural Safeguards
Progress Monitoring
Related Services
Research Based

Response to Intervention

Restraints / Seclusion
   and Abuse

School Report Cards
Section 504
Teachers & Principals
Twice Exceptional (2e)
VA Special Education

Resources & Directories

Advocate's Bookstore
Advocacy Resources
  Disability Groups
  State DOEs
  State PTIs
Free Flyers
Free Pubs
Free Newsletters
Legal & Advocacy
   Legal Terms
   Assessment Terms
Best School Websites


IDEA Burden of Proof - On Parents or Schools?

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act does not specify whether parents or school districts have the burden of proof in special education litigation.

If a parent disputes an IEP, the courts agree that it is the parent’s burden to place in issue the appropriateness of the IEP.The next issue is whether the parent has the burden of proving that the IEP is not appropriate or whether the school district has the burden of proving that the IEP is appropriate.

On October 5, the U. S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Schaffer v. Weast. The Court's decision will shift the balance of power between parents and schools.

National Council on Disability Takes a Position

On August 9, 2005, the National Council on Disability (NCD) published Individuals with Disabilities Education Act - Burden of Proof: On Parents or Schools?

In this Position Paper, the NCD asserts that school districts, not parents, should have the burden of proof in issues about IEPs, placement, eligibility, and other matters related to an appropriate education.

"Should the party attacking the terms of an IEP bear the burden of showing why the IEP is not appropriate? Or, should the party that prepared the IEP and has greater expertise and resources have the burden of proving that the IEP is appropriate?"

The author of IDEA Burden of Proof is Pete Wright.

Meet the Children
When you read IDEA Burden of Proof - On Parents or Schools? you will meet Brian Schaffer, Peter Mills and Bill Dunstan, three children with disabilities whose cases were decided by different courts.

You will learn the outcomes of their cases - and whether these outcomes were fair, right and just. You will also learn about competing principles and how similar cases have been resolved.

Download the pdf version of IDEA Burden of Proof: On Parents or Schools? from

Learn more about Schaffer v. Weast.

More special education caselaw.

To Top



Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon The Special Ed Advocate: It's Free!

Please visit the
Wrightslaw Store!

Check Out
The Advocate's Store!

Wrightslaw on FacebookWrightslaw on TwitterWrightslaw YouTube Channel 

Wrightslaw Books
Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, by Pam and Pete Wright

About the Book

Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd Edition
About the Book

Wrightslaw: All About IEPs
About the Book

Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments
About the Book

Wrightslaw: Special Education Legal Developments and Cases 2019
About the Book

Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board
About the DVD Video

Student Discounts

Military Discounts

The Advocate's Store

Wrightslaw Multimedia Training

Understanding Your Child's
Test Scores (1.5 hrs)

Wrightslaw Special: $14.95

Wrightslaw Mutimedia Training Download

Special Education Law & Advocacy Training
(6.5 hrs)

Wrightslaw Special: $49.95