Thursday, December 2, 2010
You Be the Judge Part II - "The Answer"
Image by Chazz Layne via Flickr
The facts from the last installment in our new series were taken from another real decision. This time the facts were from Systema by Systema v. Academy Sch Dist No. 20, 538 F.3d 1306, 50 IDELR 213 (Tenth Circuit 08/26/2008). First, many of you had excellent answers. One thing we all know at this point is that there is never one right answer in special education law. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Everybody who plays wins; in this game that is true.
You can read the entire Tenth Circuit decision here. Do not distress if your answer varied. In fact, this is one area where the federal circuits vary in their analysis.
In summary, the court held that the student was not harmed by the district's failure to complete an IEP where the parents unilaterally terminated the process. The court remanded to the trial court, however, concerning the substantive validity of the IEP. Interestingly, the court noted that FAPE analysis is limited to the written IEP document itself and that subsequent proposals made by the district must not be considered. This is not "the law" everywhere.
What do you think of this rule? Should a FAPE analysis be limited to the "four corners' of the IEP?