Special Needs Cases Essay

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Special needs litigation is one of the most common legal issue dealt with in educational circles. IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Act) does not define “appropriate” which leaves the interpretation of an adequate level of educational services and responsibilities open to a great deal of subjectivity. This analysis provides a brief summary of special needs cases and the implications for school systems and educational administrators.
In Cedar Rapids Community School District vs. Garrett F., the parents of a mentally coherent but wheelchair and ventilator bound student wanted the school district to provide nursing services for their child so he could attend school. The US Supreme Court decided that it was the school’s responsibility
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These cases demonstrate the challenges that are brought before educators as they attempt to provide an “appropriate” education for each child. Special needs students must be evaluated individually and their individual education plan must be designed around realistic standards. School systems and administrators walk a tight-rope between adequately meeting the needs of every student and balancing educational integrity issues with the fiscal budget. In a perfect world, there would be plenty to go around for everyone and everybody’s needs could be met to the fullest. In reality, we are left to prioritize spending as best we can. Decisions within the schools must be made as quickly as possible based upon the legal precedents set forth by case law and within the financial constraints of the school. CEDAR RAPIDS COMMUNITY SCHOOL DIST. V.GARRET F. (96-1793) 526 U.S. 66 (1999)
106 F.3d 822, affirmed

A student named Garret F. was only four years old when a motorcycle accident left him paralyzed from the neck down. The student is mentally coherent and can speak. The student requires a motorized wheelchair that he can drive by using a straw device which he places in his mouth. He also requires a ventilator for breathing. The student requires special services that
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