In a recent unpublished decision, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals reaffirmed two well established legal principals under the IDEA that are helpful for school entities to remember in the development of a IEP.

First, the appropriateness of an IEP is to be judged on what the school district knew at the time of the development of the IEP. More specifically, the Court found correct the finding that “any lack of progress under a particular IEP … does not render that IEP inappropriate.” Rather, school districts need to determine if the proposed program is reasonably calculated to provided meaningful progress and, if so, should not be held liable if in the end it does not provided the expected progress.

Second, the Court reaffirmed the principal that the school district, not parents or courts, have the discretion to determine the appropriate educational methodology in educating a student.

While both of these principals are not new, this case provides a helpful reminder of both.