The main argument that is being put forth by Joe and Ilene (Mary’s parents), is that the school
failed to provide an appropriately ambitious IEP. The argument is buttressed by the case of
Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District RE 1 . In this case, Petitioner Endrew, a child with
autism, received annual Individualized Education Program (IEP) evaluations in respondent
Douglas County School District from preschool through fourth grade. By fourth grade, Endrew’s
parents believed his academic and functional progress had stalled. When the school district
proposed a fifth-grade IEP that resembled those from past years, Endrew’s parents removed him
from public school and enrolled him in a specialized private school, where he made significant
The Petitioner’s parents filed a complaint under the Individual with Disabilities Education Act
(IDEA) for reimbursement for the child’s expenses in private school. Their claim was denied by
the Colorado Department of Education, which was affirmed by the district court. The Court of
Appeals for the Tenth Circuit also affirmed. Petitioner Endrew and his parents sought a certiorari
review. The main issue in the case was whether the defendant’s county school deprived the
petitioner of his right to free appropriate public education (FAPE) under the Individual with
Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). 2
The court in the preceding case held that the school is obliged to offer an IEP that is reasonably
calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child’s circumstances.
Accordingly, William Rodgers Elementary School in Oklahoma City was bound to ensure that it
provided an IEP reasonably calculated to enable Mary to make appropriate progress. Thus the

1 1, 137 S.Ct. 988
2 Ibid

failure to take reasonable steps such as substituting Mary’s teacher while on sick leave, the
school was in breach of its obligation.
Further reliance is placed on the case of the Board of Education of Hendrick Hudson Central
School District, Westchester Cty. v. Rowley. 3 The main issue before the appellate court was
whether the lower courts erred in their interpretation of the Education of the Handicapped Act. 4
The Court held that the lower courts erred when they held that the act required states to
maximize the potential of each handicapped child commensurate with the opportunity provided
to non-handicapped children. However, the court appreciated the aspect of "free appropriate
public education". Thus when William Rodgers Elementary School failed to ensure that Mary
was receiving the necessary learning during her teacher’s sick leave, the school denied her of
free appropriate public education.
Also, in the case of Tucker v. Bay Shore Union Free School District 5 , the Court of Appeal for the
Second Circuit held that parental placement in a private school cannot be proper under the Act
unless the private school in question meets the standards of the state education agency. Thus, it is
the argument of Mary’s parents that the private school where they placed their child was
dedicated to teaching children with dyslexia.
Furthermore, in the case of Burlington Sch. Committee v. Mass. Bd. of Ed 6 , the court held that a
parental violation of 1415(e)(3) of the Education of the Handicapped Act by changing the "then-current
educational placement" of their child during the pendency of proceedings to review a challenged
proposed IEP does not constitute a waiver of the parents’ right to reimbursement for expenses of the

3 458 U.S. 176
4 Ibid
5 873 F. 2d 563, 568 (1989)
6 471 U. S. 359

private placement. Otherwise, the parents would be forced to leave the child in what may turn out to be an
inappropriate educational placement or to obtain the appropriate placement only by sacrificing any claim
for reimbursement. But if the courts ultimately determine that the proposed IEP was appropriate, the
parents would be barred from obtaining reimbursement for any interim period in which their child’s
placement violated 1415(e)(3).
Accordingly, changing the educational institution of Mary from William Rodgers Elementary School
does not constitute a waiver of her parent’s rights to reimbursement of expenses of a private
school dedicated to teaching children with dyslexia. Denial of the entitlement to the
compensation by the former school would amount to a violation of the Education of the
Handicapped Act.
Another similar relevant case that Mary’s parents rely on is Florence County School District Four v.
Shannon Carter 7 . In this case, Shannon Carter was classified as learning disabled in 1985, while a ninth-
grade student in a school operated by petitioner Florence County School District Four. School officials
met with Shannon’s parents to formulate an individualized education program (IEP) for Shannon. The IEP
provided that Shannon would stay in regular classes except for three periods of individualized instruction
per week, and established specific goals in reading and mathematics of four months’ progress for the
entire school year. Shannon’s parents were dissatisfied and requested a hearing to challenge the
appropriateness of the IEP. Both the local educational officer and the state educational agency hearing
officer rejected Shannon’s parents’ claim and concluded that the IEP was adequate. In the meantime,
Shannon’s parents had placed her in Trident Academy, a private school specializing in educating children
with disabilities.

7 (91-1523), 510 U.S. 7 (1993)

Shannon’s parents filed this suit claiming that the school district had breached its duty under IDEA to
provide Shannon with a "free appropriate public education," § 1401(a) (18), and seeking reimbursement
for tuition and other costs incurred at Trident.
After a bench trial, the District Court ruled in the parents’ favor. The court held that the school district’s
proposed educational program and the achievement goals of the IEP "were wholly inadequate" and failed
to satisfy the requirements of the Act. The court found that Trident "evaluated Shannon quarterly, not
yearly as mandated in (IDEA), it provided Shannon with low teacher-student ratios, and it developed a
plan which allowed Shannon to receive passing marks and progress from grade to grade." The District
Court concluded that Shannon’s education was "appropriate" under IDEA and that Shannon’s parents were
entitled to reimbursement of tuition and other costs. In accordance with the preceding case, Mary’s
parents are entitled to reimbursement of the funds used to place her in the private school.
Moreover, in the case of Rogich v. Clark County Sch. Dist. 8 , Sig, and Lori Rogich filed a complaint with
CCSD. They claimed that the district school discriminated against their daughter by repeatedly refusing to
implement a widely-accepted learning method into her individualized education program. Their counsel
contended that by refusing to acknowledge and provide the methodology that the student requires in order
to receive a free and appropriate public education, they were essentially discriminating against the student
and that it was a discrimination claim. 9 Accordingly, by failing to ensure that the education provided to
Mary was up to the required standards which were evident in Mary’s lack of significant improvement,
William Rodgers Elementary School was in breach of its obligation to provide a free and
appropriate public education.
Also, in the case of Smith v Robinson 10 , the parents of a boy with cerebral palsy brought suit
against his school district for transferring him to a school with inadequate resources. Before

8 2021 U.S. Dist
9 Ibid
10 468 U.S. 992 (1984)

bringing the case to court, the parents had gone through the administrative process detailed in the
Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EHA). The Supreme Court determined that since
the EHA was designed to be comprehensive, disabled students and their families must rely only
on the EHA in making such claims against schools. Mary’s parents will thus rely on the same
Act when defending Mary’s entitlement to free and suitable public education by William
Rodgers Elementary School and reimbursement of the funds spent in transferring her to a private
Moreover, in the case of Board of Education v Rowley 11 , a New York public school refused to
provide a sign-language interpreter for a deaf student, claiming that her academic performance
and progress demonstrated that she did not need one. The student’s parents argued that the
school denied her access to education at a level equal to that of her peers. However, the Supreme
Court found that the school was providing the child with a free and appropriate public education
(FAPE), guaranteed to children with disabilities under the Education for All Handicapped
Children Act (EHA, later revised and now called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
(IDEA)). The Court determined that the school was not responsible for providing a maximally
beneficial education and that FAPE could be achieved even if the instruction provided only some
educational benefit.
In the current case, William Rodgers Elementary School’s failure to ensure that Mary’s teacher
was substituted during her leave to ensure that Mary got reasonable and suitable education failed
to meet the threshold of free and appropriate public education. This is unlike the preceding case
hence the school was in breach of its duty.

11 458 U.S. 176

Ultimately, in the case of Forest Grove School District v T.A. 12 , a student with learning
disabilities switched from a public school to a private school after the public school failed to
meet his needs as a student (a free and appropriate public education, or FAPE). A hearing officer
ordered that the public school district reimburse the student for the private school expenses.
However, the student had not been receiving special education at the public school. The Supreme
Court ruled that the school could be forced to reimburse the student if FAPE had not been
provided, regardless of whether the student had previously received special education.
Accordingly, William Rodgers Elementary School should reimburse Mary’s parents for the
expenses incurred in ensuring that Mary got the appropriate education in a private school. This is
because the former school was bound to ensure that she received free and appropriate public

12 557 US 230 (2009)

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