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Subj:    THE SPECIAL ED ADVOCATE, MARCH 3, 1999 (VOL. II, NO. 7)
Date:    3/3/99 3:01:15 PM Pacific Standard Time
From:    webmaster@wrightslaw.com
Sender:    owner-special-ed-advocate@wrightslaw.com
To:    special-ed-advocate@wrightslaw.com

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The Special Ed Advocate

The Online Newsletter About

Special Education and the Law

March 3, 1999 Vol. II, No. 7

Visit us today at:

http://www.wrightslaw.com

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The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special
education legal issues, cases, tactics and strategy, effective
educational methods, and Internet links.

We publish this newsletter occasionally, when time permits. Back issues
of The Special Ed Advocate are archived at our web site -

http://www.wrightslaw.com

As a subscriber to The Special Ed Advocate, you will receive
announcements and "alerts" about new cases and other events. Contact,
copyright, and subscription information can be found at the end of this
newsletter.

===============

THE SPECIAL ED ADVOCATE, MARCH 3, 1999

1. NEWS! U. S. SUPREME COURT ISSUES DECISION IN CEDAR RAPIDS V. GARRET
F.

2. U. S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION HOLDS TELECONFERENCE ABOUT THE FINAL
IDEA REGS

3. SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION

4. CONTACT INFORMATION

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1. NEWS! U. S. SUPREME COURT ISSUES DECISION IN CEDAR RAPIDS V. GARRET
F.

"Congress Intended to Open the Door of Public Education to All Qualified
Children"

On March 3, 1999, the U. S. Supreme Court issued a favorable decision
for Garret in Garret F. v. Cedar Rapids. In the 7-2 decision, the
Supreme Court ruled the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
(IDEA) requires school districts to provide nursing services if such
services are necessary for the disabled child to receive an education.

Justice John Paul Stevens wrote, "Respondent Garret F. is a friendly,
creative, and intelligent young man. When Garret was four years old, his
spinal column was severed in a motorcycle accident. Though paralyzed
from the neck down, his mental capacities were unaffected. He is able to
speak, to control his motorized wheelchair through use of a puff and
suck straw, and to operate a computer with a device that responds to
head movements. Garret is currently a student in the Cedar Rapids
Community School District (District), he attends regular classes in a
typical school program, and his academic performance has been a success.
Garret is, however, ventilator dependent, and therefore requires a
responsible individual nearby to attend to certain physical needs while
he is in school."

"This case is about whether meaningful access to the public schools will
be assured, not the level of education that a school must finance once
access is attained. It is undisputed that the services at issue must be
provided if Garret is to remain in school."

"Under the statute, our precedent and the purposes of the IDEA, the
district must fund such related services to help guarantee that students
like Garret are integrated into the public schools."

"Congress intended to open the door of public education to all qualified
children and required participating states to educate handicapped
children with non-handicapped children whenever possible.''

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justices Sandra Day O'Connor,
Antonin Scalia, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G.
Breyer joined Justice Stevens in the decision for Garret.

Two Justices, Clarence Thomas and Anthony M. Kennedy, dissented. The
dissenting opinion was written by Justice Thomas. The dissenting
Justices expressed the opinion that an earlier Supreme Court decision
(Alamo Heights v. Tatro) was erroneous.

Garret and his family are delighted with the decision. Garret's mother,
Charlene Frey, felt that the justice system would hold that all students
with disabilities can and should have access to public school.

When the school district appealed the lower courts' decisions, she said,
"We are going to stick with this, not only because we feel strongly
about this issue, but so that no other child or family ever has to go
through the stress and emotional toil we have endured fighting the
school system on disability access."

You can read the Supreme Court's decision in Cedar Rapids Community
School District v. Garret F. in the Law Library -

http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/caselaw/case_Cedar_Rapids_SupCt_990303.htm

==============

2. U. S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION HOLDS TELECONFERENCE ABOUT THE FINAL
IDEA REGS

Today, the U. S. Department of Education held the FIRST satellite
teleconference about the Final IDEA regulations. They scheduled a SECOND
telecast for March 10 and a THIRD for March 18, 1999.

At the end of today's teleconference, we thought we heard that today's
conference would be rebroadcast on March 10. If this is correct, it is
suggests that the Final Regs may not be released on Friday, despite
strong rumors and indications. Has the publication date been pushed back
again? Is the new publication date between March 10 and March 18?

We understand that some members of Congress have expressed concerns
and/or objections to the Final Regs. The delays may be an attempt to
negotiate compromises.

Compromises often lead to vague language. Vague language often causes
litigation which attempts to force the courts to interpret what was
meant.

Newsletter subscribers will receive an Alert when the Regs are released.
The transcript and video of today's teleconference will be available at

http://www.connectlive.com/events/deptedu/IDEA/

==========

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===========

4. CONTACT INFORMATION

Pete and Pam Wright
c/o The Special Ed Advocate
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043
Phone: 804-257-0857

Website: http://www.wrightslaw.com
Email: webmaster@wrightslaw.com

The resources at this website are copyrighted by the authors. They may
be used for non-commercial purposes only. They may not be redistributed
for commercial purposes without the express written consent of Peter W.
D. Wright.

It is not necessary to obtain our consent to link to our website or
copy, print and distribute our articles and newsletters for nonprofit
purposes so long as the material is reproduced in its entirety and
credit is given to Pete and Pam Wright and "wrightslaw" including the
URL -

http://www.wrightslaw.com

Copyright 1999, Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright. All rights
reserved.

END