Wednesday, October 13, 2004
The jurisdictional issue was whether exhaustion of administrative remedies was required before a Federal District Court could hear the case. The District Court had held that the school district's alleged systemic violations of IDEA could not be remedied through administrative proceedings and that exhaustion would be futile.
The Second Circuit affirmed, holding that systemic violations of IDEA, as opposed to "textbook" cases presenting issues involving individual children, could not be remedied by administrative action and that the exhaustion requirement would be futile.
The systemic problems at issue included: (1) the school district's total failure to prepare and implement Individualized Education Programs, (2) the school district's failure to notify parents of meetings as required by law, (3) the school district's failure to provide parents with legally required progress reports, (4) the school district's failure to provide appropriate training to school staff, (5) the school district's failure to perform timely evaluations and reevaluations of disabled chilren, (6) the school district's failure to provide parents with required procedural safeguards regarding identification, evaluation and accommodation of otherwise disabled children and (7) the school district's failure to perform legally required responsibilities in a timely manner, including providing and implementing transition plans, transitional support services and declassification services for children with disabilities.
The decision can be found here.