RE v. New York City Department of Education

694 F.3d 167 (2012)

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RE v. New York City Department of Education

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
694 F.3d 167 (2012)

  • Written by Alexander Hager-DeMyer, JD

Facts

The parents of three unrelated autistic children (plaintiffs) declined school placements offered by the New York City Department of Education (department) (defendant). Each placement was part of an individualized education program (IEP) provided for each child under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The parents found the placements to be inadequate and opted to enroll their children in private schools. The parents brought due-process claims against the department for tuition reimbursement. Each set of parents was granted relief by an impartial hearing officer, but the department appealed the decisions to state review officers, who reversed the hearing officer’s rulings. Each review officer’s decision relied on retrospective testimony from the department about the education program the students would have received in their placements, including services not listed in the students’ IEPs. The parents filed suit in federal district court to reverse the review officers’ decisions and succeeded in two of the three cases. The department and the unsuccessful parents appealed the decisions to the Second Circuit, which addressed the cases in one opinion.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Walker, J.)

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