On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Endrew F v. Douglas County School District. The case involves the legal standard the courts will apply when determining whether a school district has provided FAPE as required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA).
The question presented in this case involves IDEA’s provision that federal funds will be provided to states that make FAPE available to every eligible child with a disability. The petitioners in Endrew F. argue that the school district failed to provide FAPE to their child because the child did not receive enough of an educational benefit from the school district.
The “educational benefit” language is derived from one of the central cases interpreting IDEA, Board of Education of the Hendrick Hudson Central School District v. Rowley. In Rowley, the Supreme Court held that an IEP must be “reasonably calculated to enable the child to receive the educational benefits.” It is the level of this benefit—whether “merely more than de minimis,” “some” or “meaningful”—that is the issue before the Court in Endrew F.
In addition to the oral arguments transcript, anyone interested can access the full Supreme Court record on the Endrew F. case on the SCOTUS blog. OSBA’s legal staff will follow the case and provide updates through the Legal Ledger when the Court reaches its decision.