On January 25, 2013, the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) notifying schools that students with disabilities must be afforded equal access to extracurricular athletics. The DCL comes after the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report noting the positive impact that extracurricular athletics has on students, especially those with disabilities.
The United States Supreme Court released a 6-3 opinion yesterday in an IDEA case,Forest Grove School Dist. v. T.A.. In a decision that is troublesome for public school districts, the Supreme Court found in favor of the student, holding that courts may order reimbursement for a unilateral private school placement where the student has not previously received special education services from a public school district.