SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Under IDEA, burden of proof rests with challengers


November 18, 2005

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday 6 to 2 that the party challenging a child's individualized education program in an administrative hearing has the burden of showing it is unsatisfactory.

The majority ruled that the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act places the burden of proof on whoever brings the challenge -- the parents, as in this case and many others, or the school district.

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer dissented. Ginsburg said it's only fair that school districts be called upon to demonstrate the adequacy of an individualized education program.

IDEA did not specify whether the parents or school administrators have the burden of proof in disputes. Alaska regulations placed the burden on school districts. According to the Alaska Department of Education, the Alaska Department of Law is drafting a revised regulation to conform with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision.


On the Web:

Complete text of the decision


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Ketchikan, Alaska