The following are four summaries of early intervention and Pre-K case law that occurred from 2010- September of 2011. Case law is used to illustrate how the statute and regulations are interpreted in specific cases, but may not apply in states outside of the specific federal circuit court involved.
- Funding for early intervention services
The parents of a one year old with multiple medical needs in the District of Columbia were not entitled to full reimbursement for the child’s medical needs under Part C of IDEA. The District Court held that when a state has laws that require payments by families for services, those services are not free. The parents’ income was to be calculated against the state law requirements to determine if they were to receive any reimbursement by the state. (Quinn v. District of Columbia, 55 IDELR 94).
- Child Find
Head Start was informed by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)
That school districts have no right to require outside agencies to implement a Response to Intervention (RTI) before accepting a request for an initial evaluation. Once a district gets a referral from a community-based, early childhood program, it must initiate the evaluation process in accordance with IDEA. Delay in accepting the referral and in evaluating the student was contrary to IDEA requirements. (Brekken, Letter to, 56 IDELR 80).
- Centralizing preschool programs does not violate individual rights.
A Missouri district did not discriminate against preschool students when it decided to consolidate programs and move them to a centralized location. Individualized programming had occurred and there was no evidence to show that children who were moved would not receive an appropriate education. (Springfield (MO)R-XII School Dist., 56 IDELR 112)
- Ending preschool services won’t reduce a state’s financial obligations under IDEA.
Missouri contemplated ending its preschool grant with the federal government so that it would not have to fund preschool through other than local and state funds. OSEP explained that there was no provision in IDEA to alter the age range of eligible children to receive special education services. (Atkins-Lieberman, Letter to, 56 IDELR 109.)