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Supreme Court Update

The United States Supreme Court has denied a petition to review the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in the case of Board of Education of Hyde Park v. Frank G., 459 F.3d 356 (2d Cir. 2006).  Reviewing this case would have allowed the high court a second chance to review arguments similar to those made in the Tom F. case reported earlier, in which the justices deadlocked in a 4-4 decision over whether parents of children with special education needs are entitled to obtain reimbursement for unilateral private placements made in cases where the child has never received services from the public school district.  Since the Supreme Court seems unwilling to take a second shot at reviewing these arguments, litigation in the remaining circuits that do not have decisions on this issue seems inevitable.  Could Congress resolve this issue through legislation enacted during the expected 2009 reauthorization of the IDEA?  The time may be right for individuals, school districts and lobbying groups with an interest in this issue to organize their lobbying campaigns to go to Washington in 2009.  If not resolved by legislation, the composition of the Supreme Court when this issue comes before them again could influence the outcome.  Think about that when you go to the polls in the 2008 Presidential election….