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Unilateral Alteration of an IEP Does Not Create New Obligations Upon School District

In the case of Holland v. Kenton Cnty. Pub. Sch., an appellate court held that under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, state schools are to provide children with disabilities an appropriate education, and once a school district puts together a plan for the child, the parents cannot “unilaterally” change their minds and put their child in a community college and insist the school continue the same support services at the community college level.

In this case, the family argued that the school district did not comply with the IDEA because they did not comply with the original planned services because the school did not provide these services as the student attended community college full-time during his senior year. In response, the school district argued that they complied with the IDEA and offered alternative solutions to the original plan, which the family declined.  The appellate court agreed with the school district.

In support of its decision in favor of the school district, the appellate court explained that the student was receiving a postsecondary education because the community college was not part of the school district, and the student was receiving instruction alongside college students on a college campus. The appellate court further explained that the student enrolled in the community college without input from the school district when the original plan had the special education services taking place at the high school. Even so, the community college would not allow for the services to take place on their campus. Ultimately, the school district did not have an obligation to provide services at the school of the family’s choosing, which refused to allow the services on their campus, and therefore did not violate the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

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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