In 2017, a case before the U.S. Supreme Court, Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District (Video Explanation), sought to bring clarity to the IEP process by answering the following question: What is the level of educational benefit school districts must confer on children with disabilities to provide them with a FAPE guaranteed by the IDEA? In a unanimous ruling, the Supreme Court rejected the low educational benefit standard used by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. The Supreme Court ruled that “[t]o meet its substantive obligation under the IDEA, a school must offer an IEP reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child’s circumstances” (Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, 2017, p. 15). The Supreme Court sent the case back to the Tenth Circuit to apply this higher educational benefit standard. The district court judge subsequently held that the Douglas County School District had failed to provide Drew with a FAPE. Eventually, the school district paid Drew’s parents $1.3 million for his private school tuition, related expenses, and attorneys’ fees.
6 minute video description of Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District by Dr. Kurt Hulett.