DeVos To Special Educators: Families ‘Shouldn’t Have to Sue’ For School Options

Jul 18, 2017 by

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos drew on a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on special education to renew her calls for school choice at an annual gathering of special education officials and experts from around the country Monday.

In remarks at the federal office of special education’s leadership conference, DeVos reflected on the unanimous opinion in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District. The court in March said individualized education programs for students with disabilities must be “appropriately ambitious.” In so doing, it rejected a standard that students’ special education plans plans must only confer a minimal—or “de minimis”—benefit to adhere to federal special education law.

“De minimis? The minimum? De minimis is preposterous,” DeVos said.

Here’s where her school choice theme came in: Endrew F.’s parents moved him to a private school that specialized in educating students with autism, because they said his individualized education program wasn’t changing from year-to-year. They sued their Colorado school district for tuition.

Source: Education Week

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