Schools Must Do More Than Provide a “merely more than de minimis” Education Program

March 27, 2017

An update from CEC: 


On March 22 the U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion in the case Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, ruling in favor of the parents of a student with autism spectrum disorder who had charged that the district did not meet the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), denying him a free appropriate public education (FAPE). The parties had deliberated what level of educational benefit school districts must provide students with disabilities to meet the FAPE requirements of IDEA. Although a federal district court had ruled that Endrew F.'s individualized education program (IEP) was "substantively adequate," his parents had disagreed with that ruling that de minimis provided true educational benefit. In writing the opinion, Chief Justice Roberts said, "when all is said and done, a student offered an educational program providing 'merely more than 'de minimis' progress from year to year can hardly be said to have been offered an education at all." 


Read more in the Policy Insider blog


This is the most significant court decision for our field since Rowley v. Board of Education (1982). DEC alongside CEC will work to unpack "what it means" over the coming months. 

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