NCLB Trumps IDEA, Appeals Court Rules
Ohanian Comment: Judges rule no injury from letting NCLB squash IEPs?????? I wish the judges could walk in the shoes of the children.
You can find the decision here.
Jim Gerl at special education law blog notes that there's an interesting loophole: The court did allow an interesting loophole. At the end of the opinion the Court noted that the challenge was to the entirety of NCLB, and the Court left open the possibility that portions of the Act, or specific regulations promulgated thereunder might yield. The claim against the entire statute was, however, too weak to allow continued litigation.
By Mark Walsh
A federal appeals court has turned away a lawsuit by two Illinois school districts and four families that said the No Child Left Behind Act was in conflict with requirements of the main federal special education law.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, in Chicago, ruled unanimously on Feb. 11 that even if the NCLB law was at odds with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the special education law "must give way" because NCLB is the newer statute.
The 1,600-student Ottawa High School District and 2,000-student Ottawa Elementary School District 141, along with the parents of four students in special education in the districts' schools, had sued U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings in 2005.
The suit said that the IDEA's requirement that each special education student have an individualized education program runs contrary to the No Child Left Behind law's requirement that special education students count as a distinct subgroup whose test results help determine whether a school makes adequate yearly progress, the key NCLB measure for holding schools accountable.
A federal district judge in Chicago had dismissed the suit last year, ruling that the school districts and families did not have legal standing because they had suffered no concrete injuries under the NCLB law.
You can read the rest of the article at Education Week.
INDEX OF NCLB OUTRAGES