In Schaeffer v. Weast the U.S. Supreme Court placed the burden of proof in special education cases on the side challenging the IEP. This meant that in most cases the burden of proof would be on parents. The Court, however, did not say that states could not choose to place the burden of proof on school districts. Thus, the state of New York has passed and signed into law legislation placing the burden of proof on the school district. This is only fair and appropriate. The school district should be responsible for showing that the program it is offering is appropriate. The school district has control of the IEP process that designs the program. If the program is challenged by a parent, the school district has the staff and resources to show the program is appropriate, if in fact it is. This is good news for families in New York and I hope other states follow New York's lead.
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