IDEA Timeline

  • Brown v. Board of Education

    The U.S. Supreme Court determined that a separate education for African-American children was not an equal education, concluding that “in the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place and that ‘separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.'”
  • Board of Education of Hendrick Hudson Central School District v. Rowley

    This was the first special education case decided by the Supreme Court. In this case, the Court held that an IEP must be reasonably calculated for a child to receive educational benefit, but the school district is not required to provide every service necessary to maximize a child’s potential.
  • Irving Independent Sch. Dist. v. Amber Tatro

    The Court held that provision of clean intermittent catheterization was a “related service” under the IDEA and not a “medical service,” because the service was necessary for the student to attend school. The services requested did not fall within the medical exclusion because they need not be performed by a physician. The Court noted that “Congress sought primarily to make public education available to handicapped children and to make such access meaningful.”
  • Burlington Sch. Committee v. Mass. Bd. of Ed.

    The Court established, for the first time, the right of parents to be reimbursed for their expenditures for private special education. This decision (together with the Court’s decision in Florence v. Carter) generally stands for the proposition that a school district may be required to reimburse parents for tuition and other expenses related to a private school placement.
  • Honig v. Doe

    The Court addressed the IDEA’s “stay put” provision, explaining that in enacting “stay put”, Congress intended “to strip schools of the unilateral authority they had traditionally employed to exclude disabled students … from school.” The Court also noted that the IEP is the “centerpiece of the [IDEA’s] education delivery system” assessments of its effectiveness.”
  • Schaffer v. Weast

    The Court held that, absent a state statute to the contrary, the party seeking relief bears the burden of proof in an administrative due process proceeding.
  • Arlington v. Murphy

    The Court held that a provision of the IDEA authorizing “reasonable attorneys’ fees for prevailing parents does not authorize the recovery of fees for expert’s services.