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School Districts: IDEA – Free Appropriate Public Education – IEP

Stephanie Maniscalco//August 11, 2011//

School Districts: IDEA – Free Appropriate Public Education – IEP

Stephanie Maniscalco//August 11, 2011//

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Where the parents of a mentally disabled student claimed her school district had denied her a free appropriate public education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the district court thoroughly reviewed the administrative record and determined that a preponderance of evidence did not support the ALJ’s decision that the school district had denied the child an appropriate education, and the district court properly found that the school district followed the procedures set forth in the IDEA and that the child’s individualized education plan was “reasonably calculated to enable the child to receive educational benefit.”

Due weight to ALJ

Opinion dissenting in part by Bye, J.: “I suggest this court should be providing due weight to the administrative decision, not providing deference to the findings and decision of the district court. While I agree with the majority on several of the issues raised in this appeal, I cannot agree with the majority’s decision as to whether the district court afforded due weight to the ALJ and its ultimate conclusion as to whether K.E. made sufficient progress during her second-, third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade years to demonstrate she received some educational benefit. I dissent in part because I would conclude the district court failed to give due weight to the administrative proceedings and, based on an independent review of those proceedings, I would further conclude the record establishes K.E. was denied FAPE.”

Judgment is affirmed.

K.E. v. Independent School District No. 15, St. Francis, Minnesota (MLW No. 62553/Case No. 10-2176 – 41 pages) (U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, Arnold, J.) Appealed from U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, Ericksen, J. (Margaret O’Sullivan Kane, St. Paul, Minnesota, argued for appellant) (Nancy Ellen Blumstein, Minneapolis, argued for appellee; Christian Richard Shafer appeared on the brief).

Read the full text of this opinion. (PDF)

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