Department of Education
1 Matching Record
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March - 2017
Parents of A.W.
Unduly Restrictive Eligibility
Parents filed Due Process Complaint under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) alleging their daughter is an IDEA-eligible child with disabilities; that the school district and AEA violated the IDEA by applying unduly restrictive eligibility criteria and failing to identify her as being entitled for special education and services under the Act; and that the Iowa Department of Education violated the IDEA by establishing unduly restrictive eligibility criteria. Parents sought a finding the child is IDEA eligible, compensatory education, and declaratory relief.
Parents prevailed. District and AEA erred during evaluation by requiring a significant performance discrepancy to establish a specific learning disability and by finding the child
s ongoing needs could be met by general education interventions, rather than special education services. Child was eligible under the IDEA and was denied a free appropriate public education (FAPE) as a result of the evaluation error. Elements of the State Special Education Eligibility and Evaluation Standards related to discrepancy and need were found to unduly restrict the scope of entitlement under the IDEA eligibility. Declaratory relief and expense reimbursement was ordered.