On February 12, 2018, the Honorable Lewis T. Babcock, U.S.D.J. issued a decision in the matter of Endrew F. v. Douglas Cty. Sch. Dist. RE 1. As is well-know, the United States Supreme Court ruled on the Endrew F. matter in March 2017 and remanded the case to the 10th Circuit. https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/16pdf/15-827_0pm1.pdf
The 10th Circuit remanded the cases to the United District Court for the District of Colorado for further proceedings, and Judge Babcock issued a decision in favor of the Petitioners.
Judge Babcock’s decision can be found here: http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.copaa.org/resource/resmgr/docs/2018_Documents/Endrew2018.02.12.Opinion and.pdf
In relevant part, Judge Babcock ruled as follows:
The minimal progress revealed in Petitioner’s educational plan is insufficient, however, to show that the April 2010 IEP proffered by the District created an educational plan that was reasonably calculated to enable him to make progress. While Petitioner’s educational program must be appropriately ambitious in light of his circumstances, the Supreme Court was clear that every child, including Petitioner, should have the chance to meet challenging objectives. In this case, Petitioner’s past educational and functional progress – as evidenced by the changes to his yearly IEPs after second grade – was minimal at best. Those changes consisted of only updates and minor or slight increases in the objectives, or carrying over the same goals from year to year, or abandonment if they could not be meet. The April 2010 IEP was clearly just a continuation of the District’s educational plan that had previously only resulted in minimal academic and functional progress.
Judge Babcock awarded tuition reimbursement 20 U.S.C. §1412(a)(10)(C)(ii) and 34 C.F.R. §300.148(c), as well as reasonable attorneys’ fees and litigation costs pursuant to 20 U.S.C. § 1415(i)(3)(B).