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Thursday, June 9, 2011

4th Circuit upholds reimbursement for home schooling placement

Sumter v. Heffernan (4th Cir. 2011): Parents pulled their autistic child from the public school system and set up a program for him at home. They then sought reimbursement for the costs of an ABA therapist. In what appeared to be a close decision, one that prompted a dissent in part, the Court ruled in favor of reimbursement. Of particular interest is the 4th Circuit’s rejection of a strict application of the LRE requirement as applied to a parental placement. The 4th Circuit joins the 8th Circuit as Courts recently adopting a looser standard for LRE as a factor in determining the appropriateness of the parental placement.