Private schools, tuition, disabled children


The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires school districts to fund private school placements for disabled children who cannot be educated appropriately in public school. This Note explores the conflict over whether private school tuition reimbursement should be available under the IDEA to parents who place their disabled children in private school without previously receiving special education from a public agency. The conflict hinges on whether a 1997 amendment to the IDEA foreclosed the equitable considerations previously utilized by the courts to determine whether tuition reimbursement was appropriate and limited the remedy to cases where the child previously received public special education services. This Note argues that the 1997 amendment to the IDEA did not limit the remedy of tuition reimbursement. It suggests that the U.S. Supreme Court uphold the remedy of tuition reimbursement when appropriate, whether or not the disabled child previously received public special education services, when it decides the issue later this Term.

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