NASET News Alert

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Parents of Children with Disabilities

May 22, 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C. -  A Supreme Court decision on Monday gave parents of children with disabilities the right to go to court without a lawyer to challenge their public school district’s individualized plan for their child’s education.

The 7-to-2 decision involved an interpretation of the federal law that gives all children the right to a “free appropriate public education,” regardless of disability. Millions of children receive benefits under the law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Most federal appeals courts have ruled that when a dispute brings families and school districts into court, the parents cannot proceed without a lawyer.

Many parents, including the couple from Parma, Ohio, who brought this case, either cannot afford a lawyer or cannot find one. Increasingly, school districts have been bringing parents who seek to handle their own cases into court on charges of violating state statutes against the “unauthorized practice of law.”

To read the entire article on this landmark decision, visit:

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