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Legal Memorandum: Residential Placement under IDEA

Issue: What is the recent case law relating to residential placement under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)?

Area of Law: Education Law
Keywords: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA); Residential placement
Jurisdiction: Federal
Cited Cases: 528 F. Supp. 68; 35 F. Supp. 2d 34; 895 F.2d 973; 918 F. Supp. 772; 547 F. Supp. 61
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 03/01/2004

Burke County Bd. of Educ. v. Denton, 895 F.2d 973 (4th Cir. 1990).

Parents of special education child challenged school district’s IEP under the Education of the Handicapped Act and North Carolina law.  The parents argued that the IEP was insufficient because it failed to provide in-home behavioral management services.  The court reasoned that the IEP was sufficient and the in-home care was not required because it did not further the child’s educational progress.  The court stated that not every special education program must maximize the child’s overall potential.  Instead, in-home services are to be provided if, on the facts of each case, the services are needed to for the child to make any educational progress at all.  In this case, the court held in-home behavioral services did not.

Papacoda v. Connecticut, 528 F. Supp. 68 (D. Conn. 1981).

Under the EHA, student in private placement was entitled to psychotherapy services, which were related to both her emotional state and her educational progress.

Stacey G. v. Pasadena Indep. Sch. Dist., 547 F. Supp. 61 (S.D. Tex. 1982).

Under the EHA, court ordered the school district to implement a 12-month IEP “because of the serious regression of academic skills and behavioral modification that [the child] will undoubtedly suffer if the structured educational program is not maintained continuously.”  The structured program can be maintained through day school and “training in behavioral techniques for the management […]

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