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Jefferson County Board of Education v. Phillip C.

The Jefferson County Board of Education filed a petition seeking review of a decision of the Eleventh Circuit finding that the Board violated the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) by refusing to reimburse the parents of a disabled student for the cost of an independent educational evaluation (IEE) of their child. The IDEA requires that covered educational agencies provide certain procedural safeguards to children with disabilities and their parents, including the opportunity “to obtain an independent educational evaluation of the child.” 20 U.S.C. § 1415(b)(1). The Secretary of Education has issued regulations specifying that a parent “has the right to an independent educational evaluation at public expense if the parent disagrees with an evaluation obtained by the public agency,” 34 C.F.R. § 300.502(b)(1), unless the public agency initiates a hearing “to show that its evaluation is appropriate.” Id. § 300.502(b)(2)(i). The Board argues that the Secretary exceeded his authority and that § 300.502(b) is invalid. On October 7, 2013, the Supreme Court denied certiorari.