Thursday, March 10, 2005

Seventh Circuit Decides Odd IDEA Stay-Put Case

Yesterday, the Seventh Circuit issued this opinion in Casey K. v. St. Anne Community High School District No. 302. The case applies IDEA's stay-put rule to unusual facts. While in Eighth Grade, based on the settlement of a dispute between the parents and the school district over the proper educational placement, the plaintiff child was placed in a private school setting. Apparently, Illinois divides middle schools and high schools into separate school districts. When Eighth Grade ended, the plaintiff child thus became the responsibility of a new school district -- the local high school district. The new district argued that the private school was not the child's "current" placement once he left Eighth Grade, because the child was no longer assigned to the same school district, so the "stay-put" provision did not apply.

The Seventh Circuit, in a very sensible opinion by Judge Posner (and I'm not often heard to say that!), held that the private school placement, being the placement the kid was currently in at the time Eighth Grade ended, was his "current" placement; the stay-put rule thus applied. If Illinois placed middle schools and high schools in the same school district, there would be no doubt that the private school placement remained the child's "current" placement once he left Eighth Grade, and Judge Posner argued that the state's choice about how to organize its school districts shouldn't change that result. Judge Sykes dissented.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home