IDEA Gives Disabled Children the Right to a Good Education
The IDEA gives disabled children the right to a good education. It also gives them the right to a free and appropriate public education. This mean there are high standards in the education they receive. However, Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch has specific opinions regarding disabled children and their right to a free education under the IDEA. He thinks that the standard for educating disabled children should be low. You may recall that during Gorsuch’s congressional hearings, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned his decision in the Luke P. case.
The Luke P. case held that a school district complies with the law to educate disabled children, as long as they provide educational benefits that meet a “de minimis” standard. “De minimis” is a Latin phrase meaning “so minor as to merit disregard.” When decisions use this language, it means the lowest possible standard.
In his decision, Gorsuch essentially concluded that school districts comply with their obligation to educate disabled students as long as they give disabled students little more than nothing. Thank goodness the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously rejected Gorsuch’s approach. Chief Justice Roberts, in Endrew v. Douglas County School District, wrote that the standard for educating children with disabilities under the IDEA “is markedly more demanding than the de minimis test applied by the Tenth Circuit.”
Justice Roberts also stated that Gorsuch’s approach would effectively strip disabled students of an appropriate education. The IDEA helps educators teach students with disabilities on an individual basis. Therefore, this helps them learn the skills they need to become contributing members of society. It remains to be seen whether Grosuch will respect the disabled community in his future decisions. For now, the Supreme Court agrees that the IDEA gives disabled children have a right to a good education.