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No Liability for Reading Instruction That May Not Progress Reading Skills the Best

In the case of C.K. v. Bd. of Edn. of Sylvania City School Dist., 6th Cir. No. 21-3244 (Sep. 9, 2022), a federal appellate court held that the school district provided a Free and Appropriate Public Education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) when the district created an individualized education program (“IEP”) for a special needs student which was reasonably calculated to make appropriate progress, despite concerns from the student’s parent that the IEP did not use a preferred method of reading instruction.

In this case, the child’s parent argued that the parent’s preferred method of reading instruction was necessary for the student’s FAPE because the student made progress while using the reading instruction. In response, the school board argued that (1) it was impossible to determine whether the progress the student made was due to the IEP or the parent’s preferred method of reading instruction and (2) the parent’s preferred method of reading instruction removed the student from the least restrictive environment and prevented progress in other areas of need for the student. The federal appellate court agreed with the school district.

In support of its decision in favor of the school district, the federal appellate court explained that the IEP, which the parent agreed to initially, was reasonably calculated for the student because the IEP team used multiple sources of data and the IEP procedure was done in compliance with the IDEA. The federal appellate court further explained that the parent failed to prove that the preferred method of reading instruction was necessary because there was no test to affirmatively determine whether the school’s interventions or the preferred method of reading instruction was the sole cause of the student’s progress.

To read this case, click here.

Authors: Matthew John Markling and the McGown & Markling Team.

Note: This blog entry does not constitute – nor does it contain – legal advice. Legal jurisprudence is like the always-changing Midwestern weather. As a result, this single blog entry cannot substitute for consultation with a McGown & Markling attorney. If legal advice is needed with respect to a specific factual situation, please feel free to contact a McGown & Markling attorney.

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