Case Law:

Assignment: Taking Precedence: Shaping our Future

As you conduct advocacy plan preparations in your setting, it is important to revisit the findings of important case law to assure your advocacy plan reflects informed, foundational legislative intent in your endeavor to address one of today’s special education issues involving diversity and special needs. For this assignment, you will use the resources provided in this course, as well as from your own research, to develop a paper that identifies and analyzes special education case law and its relationship to promoting just special education practices that support the spirit and letter of the Section 504, ADA, and IDEA statues.

To prepare:

·         Identify five significant pieces of special education case law from this module’s Learning Resources or your own research that have clarified and supported just practices and reinforced the intent of Section 504, ADA, or IDEA.

·         Synthesize how each of the five pieces of case law supports the principles of the Section 504, ADA, or IDEA

·         Consider how each have helped shape the field of the special education.

A  6- to 10-page paper (exclusive of Title page and References) that includes the following:

·         Part 1—Introduction:

o    Provide a concise summary of the principles of Section 504, ADA, and IDEA that advance a just educational experience for students with exceptionalities.

·         Part 2—Case Law:

o    For each of the five selected pieces of significant special education case law, concisely synthesize how it supports one or more of the three foundational statues (i.e., Section 504, ADA, and IDEA).

·         Part 3—Reflection:

o    What is an issue related to issues of diversity and special needs that currently interests to you?

o    How might you prepare an advocacy plan to offer solutions to address the issue?

o    What principles from one or more of three foundational statues or special education case law could you use in an advocacy plan to justify your recommended solution(s) to address the issue? (Note: You will have the opportunity to build on this issue to develop your Course Project in this course).

Cite relevant, scholarly resources in each of the three sections of your paper.

Note: For this Assignment and all scholarly writing in this course and throughout your program, you will be required to use APA style (6th edition). Please use the Walden Writing Center as a resource as you complete assignments.

Avoid using International Journals to support claims because the results cannot always be generalized to the USA. Also, please cite with quotes and page numbers. Thanks.

Required Readings

Fowler, F. C., Hulett, K. E., & Kieff, J. E. (2011). Leadership, advocacy, policy, and law (Laureate Education, custom ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

·         Chapter 8, “Getting the Words and the Money: Policy Formulation and Policy Adoption” (pp. 197–224)

Focus on the principles and processes school leaders can use to influence policy formulation and adoption.

·         Chapter 17, “The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act” (pp.456–474)

Focus on the six pillars of IDEA, as well as its confidentiality, transition, and behavioral provisions features.

·         Chapter 18, “Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973” (pp. 475–492)

Focus on what protection and services Section 504 provides individuals with disabilities in public schools that is not provided by the IDEA and ADA.

·         Chapter 19, “The Americans with Disabilities Act” (pp.493–501)

Focus on why the ADA is important to K –12 education even though it does not provide or extend any substantive or procedural rights to students in K –12 settings.

·         Chapter 21, “Free and Appropriate Public Education” (pp.522–537)

Focus on the significance of the Rowley Case on FAPE and the field of special education as a whole.

·         Chapter 22, “Least Restrictive Environment” (pp. 555–575)

Focus on the rationale defending the stand that the regular education classroom is not always the least restrictive environment for a special needs student.

Case Law Resources

Board of Education of the Hendrick Hudson Central School District v. Amy Rowley, 458 U.S. 176 (1982). Retrieved from

Focus on the parameters this case established when considering and determining a “free and appropriate public education (FAPE)”

Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1952, 1953, 1954). Retrieved from

Focus on this case’s connection to the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, as well as the impact of the case on equal access to a free and appropriate public education, due process, equal protection of the laws, and death of “separate but equal” schooling for individuals with disabilities.

Burlington School Committee, et. al. v. Massachusetts Department of Education, 471 U.S. 359. (1985). Retrieved from

Focus on the procedural safeguards established by this case relative to goals and objectives in an individualized education program.

Forest Grove School District v. T.A. (9th Cir. 2008). Retrieved from

Focus on the aspects of a “free and appropriate public education” (FAPE) that led to this ruling on private school tuition reimbursement to a parent who believes a child has not been given a free and appropriate public education by the child’s school district.

Mills v. Board of Education, DC, 348 F. Supp. 866 (D. DC 1972). Retrieved from

Focus on the due process procedures to ensure all students equal protection under the laws that resulted from this class-action suit.

New Mexico Association for Retarded Citizens, et al. v. the State of New Mexico, 678 F.2d 847 (10th Cir. 1982). Retrieved from

Focus on how the ruling of this Section 504 discrimination case led to the implementation of IDEA in New Mexico.”

The Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children et al., v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania et al., No. 71–42. (1972). Retrieved from

Focus on the precedent this case set for all children having a constitutional right to a public education without regard to disability.

Smith v. Robinson, 468 U.S. 992 (1984). Retrieved from

Focus on why the findings of this U.S. Supreme Court case would have been damaging to the procedural safeguards of special education children and families had it not eventually been overturned by congressional legislation.

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