Forest Grove School District v. T. A.
|Forest Grove School District v. T.A.|
|Argued April 28, 2009|
Decided June 22, 2009
|Full case name||Forest Grove School District v. T.A.|
|Citations||557 U.S. 230 (more)|
|Majority||Stevens, joined by Roberts, Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, Alito|
|Dissent||Souter, joined by Scalia, Thomas|
|Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. § 1400|
Forest Grove School District v. T. A., 557 U.S. 230 (2009), is a case in which the United States Supreme Court held that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) authorizes reimbursement for private special education services when a public school fails to provide a "free appropriate public education" (FAPE) and the private school placement is appropriate, regardless of whether the child previously received special education services through the public school.
T.A. attended public school in the Forest Grove School District in Forest Grove, Oregon, from kindergarten through the winter term of his junior year in high school. In high school T.A. had difficultly with his schoolwork, but the school determined that T.A. did not qualify for special education services. In 2003 T.A. was diagnosed with ADHD and a number of learning disabilities. Subsequently, T.A. was enrolled in a private school that focused on special needs children.
Opinion of the Court
Justice Stevens held that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act did not categorically bar reimbursement of private education tuition if a child had not previously received special education and related services through the school. The court remanded the case back to the United States District Court for the District of Oregon to determine if the family at issue was then entitled to reimbursement.
Justice Souter filed a dissent joined by Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas. Justice Souter argued that School Comm. of Burlington v. Department of Ed. of Mass., 471 U.S. 359 (1985), was controlling and IDEA prohibits reimbursement if the school district has made a free appropriate public education available.
In December 2009, federal district court judge Michael W. Mosman determined the family was not eligible for reimbursement under the IDEA. The parents in the case had sent their son to Mount Bachelor Academy due to behavioral problems and the use of drugs. Mosman ruled that the special reason for the special education, behavioral issues and drug use, were not disabilities covered under federal law, and the parents had not listed ADHD when applying to the academy. The parents announced they would appeal the decision to the Ninth Circuit.
- Forest Grove School District v. T. A., 557 U.S. 230 (2009).
- Owen, Wendy (December 14, 2009). "Judge says Forest Grove family doesn't qualify for special needs reimbursement". The Oregonian. Retrieved 15 December 2009.