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SCOTUS Rules In Favor Of Students With Disabilities

The Supreme Court ruled against the long-standing precedent of bare-minimum educational advancements for students with disabilities.
SCOTUS Rules In Favor Of Students With Disabilities

In a unanimous ruling Wednesday, the Supreme Court decided public schools cannot allow bare-minimum educational advancements for students who have disabilities. 

The decision goes back to a 1975 law that mandates "free appropriate public education" for all students. But the Supreme Court acknowledged in its ruling that the law's language is vague. 

In the past, lower courts have used the law to rule that schools were only responsible for helping students with disabilities improve from year to year — or "de minimis."

Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch has ruled in favor of the "de minimis" standard in the past. 

But when his rulings came up in his confirmation hearing, he said he was sorry and that he was "bound by circuit precedent."

In the high court's official decision, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, "When all is said and done, a student offered an educational program providing 'merely more than de minimis' progress from year to year can hardly be said to have been offered an education at all."