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Running head: SPECIAL EDUCATION PLACEMENT: 1

PORTFOLIO ASSIGNMENT V

Special Education Placement

Portfolio Assignment V

Seth Manesse

College of Southern Nevada

April 16, 2017


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Scenario

Jonathan is a tenth-grader. Due to severe multiple disabilities he requires constant care

from a specially trained nurse. His disabilities include spastic quadriplegia and a seizure disorder.

He is also profoundly mentally disabled.

Debbie Young, is an experienced high school principal. She has experience as a special

education teacher and as an assistant principal in an affluent and progressive school district in the

South.

Jonathans parents contact Principal Young seeking placement for him in her school

district. Placing Jonathan in the public school would be extraordinarily expensive. Additionally,

in Principal Youngs opinion, the school district is not the most appropriate placement for

Jonathan. Due to these considerations, Principal Young refuses Jonathans parents request for

placement.

Arguments for Placement

Legal Mandate Under IDEA

The United States Supreme Court, as part of its ruling in Florence County School District

v. Shannon Carter (1993) reiterated some mandates of the Individuals with Disabilities Education

Act (IDEA). Under this law, disabled students are to be provided with either a free appropriate

public education (FAPE) or placement in a private education at public expense. IDEAs mandate

is ...educational authorities can do one of two things: give the child a free appropriate public

education in a public setting, or place the child in an appropriate private setting

The law is clear: schools are required to provide appropriate education to disabled

students.
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Limitations on Schools Obligations

Although schools are legally obligated to provide a free appropriate public education

(FAPE) for disabled students, there are limitations. Some of these limitations reduce the costs to

schools and are spelled out in Irving Independent School District v. Amber Tatro (1984).

To keep in perspective the obligation to provide services that relate to both the health and

educational needs of handicapped students, we note several limitations that should

minimize the burden

First, to be entitled to related services, a child must be handicapped so as to

require special education In the absence of a handicap that requires special

education, the need for a related service does not create an obligation...

Second, only those services necessary to aid a handicapped child to benefit from

special education must be provided...

Third, the regulations state that school nursing services must be provided only if

they can be performed by a nurse or other qualified person, not if they must be

performed by a physician

These limits on related services help reduce school expenses for educating handicapped students.

Arguments Against Placement

Appropriateness of Educational Programs

In the case of Board of Education of the Hendrick Hudson School District v. Amy

Rowley (1982), the United States Supreme Court spells out the requirements for schools in

following the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 (IDEA). Among schools

responsibilities is a stipulation that they provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) and
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that they tailor an education plan for each handicapped student, an individualized education

program (IEP).

The Supreme Court further stipulates ...the requirement that a State provides specialized

educational services to handicapped children generates no additional requirement that the

services so provided be sufficient to maximize each child's potential The obligation of the

schools is to provide an education that is appropriate and not necessarily an education that

maximizes the students potential.

Parental Choice

In Burlington School Committee v. Massachusetts Department of Education (1985), the

United States Supreme Court gave clarification on responsibilities of parents and schools in

paying for a disabled childs education. The court stated: parents who unilaterally change their

child's placement, without the consent of state or local school officials, do so at their own

financial risk.

The court went on to cite the IDEA law: If a handicapped child has available a free

appropriate public education and the parents choose to place the child in a private school or

facility, the public agency is not required by this part to pay for the child's education at the

private school or facility.

Parents must give the school an opportunity develop an IEP. If the parents place their

child in private schooling unilaterally, they have no entitlement to reimbursement.

Conclusion and Decision

The scenario leaves out some crucial details. It tells Principal Debbie Youngs final

decision to refuse to place Jonathan, but it doesnt relate the process involved in how that
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decision was reached. There is no information on how closely school district procedures and the

laws were followed. There is no information about how cooperative Jonathan's parents were or

the level of education that would be appropriate for him. Most importantly, it doesnt relate if an

individualized education program (IEP) was created.

Without these details, reaching the correct decision is impossible, so some assumptions

must be made. The scenario does relate Principal Debbie Youngs qualifications and experience

in both special education and administration: she has plenty of experience. Her experience would

lead her to follow proper procedures and adhere to the law. We have to assume she made no

hasty decision in this important matter.

The scenario describes Jonathan as a tenth-grader. This leads one to assume he has had

years of schooling. Additionally, we assume it would be beneficial to him to continue to receive

an appropriate education. Finally, we assume Jonathan's parents are behaving as full partners in

Jonathan's educational best interests.

Once these assumptions are made, we can sensibly discuss the scenario.

Under IDEA Jonathan is entitled to a FAPE as long as his parents give the school district

a chance to develop an IEP. His parents will have a voice in the creation of the IEP although, in

the end, they may not fully agree with it. The school district is not required to put forward the

optimal education plan just an appropriate one.

Simply denying Jonathan an education, despite the cost or Principal Youngs personal

opinion, is not an option. Jonathan would benefit from a FAPE, therefore the school has an

obligation provide one for him. The consequence, if they do not, is the school district will have
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to pay a bill for a private school placement that Jonathan's parents choose; if the school wants a

say they must fulfill their obligation to create an IEP and offer him a FAPE.

Principal Debbie Young and her school district erred in their decision; they must develop

an IEP and place Jonathan either in the district or in private education.


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References

Board of Education of the Hendrick Hudson Central School District v. Amy Rowley (1982).

Retrieved April 13, 2017 from Wrightslaw website:

http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/caselaw/ussupct.rowley.htm

Burlington School Committee v. Massachusetts Department of Education (1985). Retrieved

April 13, 2017 from Wrightslaw website:

http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/caselaw/ussupct.burlington.htm

Florence County School District Four v. Shannon Carter (1993). Retrieved April 13, 2017 from

Wrightslaw website: http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/caselaw/ussupct.carter.htm

Irving Independent School District v. Tatro (1984). Retrieved April 13, 2017 from Wrightslaw

website: http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/caselaw/ussupct.tatro.htm