Wednesday, August 4, 2010

School Districts do not have standing to pursue IDEA claims, Sixth Circuit rules

In a case that pitted local educational agencies against a state department of education, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that the local school district did not even have the right to bring the case in Court under the Individual with Disabilities in Education Act.

After a review of the text of the statute, and relevant case law, the court found that local educational agencies did not possess an explicit or implicit private right of action pursuant to 20 U.S.C. § 1415(i)(2)(A) [IDEA] to challenge a state agency’s compliance with certain “procedural safeguards” set forth in § 1415(b) of the IDEA.

That is, the Court found that the the procedural safeguards articulated
in the statute were enacted so that parents with disabled children could enforce their child’s right to a free appropriate public education, not for local school districts.

This is the first time that this issue has been decided by the Sixth Circuit, which includes Ohio.

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