Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Source

School Business Affairs


The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, 2005) requires states, through local school boards, to provide students with disabilities with a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment consistent with the content of their Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). As important as it is to educate students with disabilities, the cost of serving these children is much higher than that of their peers in regular education.

Most recently, the Tenth Circuit upheld Rowley’s “some educational benefit” standard in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District RE-1 (2015). In Endrew F., the panel affirmed that a school board in Colorado complied with the IDEA by providing a child with autism with a program granting him “some educational benefit.” Later courts have interpreted this standard as requiring more than trivial or de minimis educational progress, adding to the confusion by failing to define what boards must provide.

In light of the split between federal circuit courts, the Supreme Court entered the fray over the level of services school boards must provide students with disabilities in order to establish a national standard.

Inclusive pages




Document Version

Published Version


This document has been made available for download by permission of the publisher.

This article originally appeared in the January 2017 School Business Affairs magazine and is reprinted with permission of the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO). The text herein does not necessarily represent the views or policies of ASBO International, and use of this imprint does not imply any endorsement or recognition by ASBO International and its officers or affiliates. Any additional re-purposing or reprint of this article in this or any other medium is restricted without prior written consent.

Permission documentation is on file.


Association of School Business Officials





Place of Publication

Reston, VA



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.