The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal from parents who contend the New York City school system violated federal special education law when it excluded them from the decision over where their son would attend school.
The parents say they participated in the process in 2008 to develop an individualized education plan for their son, who has autism. But when it came time to assign their son to a school, the New York City school district unilaterally chose a school site and then mailed the decision to the parents as a "final notice of recommendation."
The parents, identified in court papers as R.E. and M.E., believed the assigned school did not have sufficient one-to-one teaching support for their son, so they enrolled him in private school and sought tuition reimbursement from the school district.
A federal district court sided with the parents, but a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, in New York City, ruled last year that under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the school district "may select the specific school without the advice of parents so long as it conforms to the program offered in the IEP."