At Wrightslaw, our mission is to help you gain the knowledge and skills you need to navigate the confusing, changing world of special education.
1. U. S. Supreme Court Will Hear Oral Argument in Arlington v. Murphy on Wednesday
At 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 19, 2006, the U. S. Supreme Court will hear Oral Argument in Arlington Central School District v. Murphy. Since the Court granted certiorari on January 6, 2006, this case is on a fast track.
2. Briefs in Arlington v. Murphy
In their brief, the Petitioner, Arlington Central School District (NY), argued that the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit erred in holding that the court was authorized to award expert fees to the parents of a child with a disability who is a prevailing party under the IDEA. (Click to read Petitioner's brief)
In March, the parents filed their Brief. They argued that the legislative history of IDEA confirms that expert witness costs may be recovered by prevailing parents. (Click to read the Respondent's brief)
The school district then filed their Reply Brief. (Click to download the school district's Reply Brief)
The U. S. Department of Education filed an amicus brief on behalf of the school district, arguing that IDEA's fee shifting provision does not authorize an award of expert fees. (read the brief filed by the U. S. Department of Education)
In an amicus brief filed on behalf of the school district, the National School Board Association argued that "recovery of expert fees is contrary to IDEA's collaborative framework" and that "recovery of expert witness fees will lead to increased litigation costs for parents and schools and divert attention and resources from the education of all children." (Read the brief filed by the School Board Association)
Amicus briefs were filed on behalf of the parents and Joseph by the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates and by the National Disability Rights Network and the Center for Law and Education.
The brief filed by COPAA argued that "IDEA's purpose to protect constitutional rights would be frustrated if expert fees were not awarded to prevailing parties" and "because the IDEA's purpose is to impose an affirmative equal protection obligation, the Court should not limit Court's discretion to award costs." (Read the amicus brief filed by COPAA)
The brief filed by the NDRN and the Center for Law and Education argued that "experts are critical to parents' ability to ensure that their child receive a free, appropriate public education" and that "IDEA's structure and text convey broad authority to District Courts to provide any appropriate relief to a prevailing party, including awarding parents the costs of obtaining an expert." (Read the brief filed by NDRN)
For a comprehensive discussion of this case, including links to decisions, briefs, and news, go to Arlington v. Murphy. We will add new information as it is available, including Pete's impressions of Oral Argument.
3. Shouldn't a Deaf Child Be Taught by a Teacher?
"My child is deaf and 'low functioning.' The IEP Team wants to use an interpreter as her teacher. I think she needs to be taught by a teacher. Can you help?"
4. Update: Online Training
"When will the online training take place? How can I register? Please send details!"
Many people are writing to ask about our online training plans, so we wanted to provide an update.
5. Wrightslaw Training Programs in MA, NY, PA, DE
Wrightslaw offers a variety of special education law and advocacy programs taught by experts in the field of special education law and advocacy.
The Spring 2006 schedule includes these programs:
May 17: Rochester, NY - Special Ed Law & Advocacy Training sponsored by Greater Rochester SAFE. Speakers: Wayne Steedman and Pat Howey
6. Subscription & Contact Info
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