WY Law Division
In response to the schism between the school and parent, this comment argues that the judicial interpretation of FAPE, which primarily promotes access over progress, is insufficient for Wyoming parents and special education students. This comment further argues that Wyoming should amend Wyoming Statute section 21-2-501 to impose a standard of FAPE that is more in line with the 1997 and 2004 amendments and the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). First, the comment will provide a brief history of special education and the path that led to the creation of IDEA. In particular, this comment will show how the discourse surrounding the creation of IDEA continues to influence courts’ interpretations of FAPE. The first section will also detail the amendments to IDEA, as well as discuss the standard of education found in the regular classroom by looking to NCLB. Next, this comment will argue that despite legislation by Congress seemingly imposing a higher standard, the majority of courts continue to apply a lower standard of FAPE. Third, this comment will focus on the minority interpretation of FAPE recognized in Wyoming. Finally, this comment argues that there is little difference between the two interpretations of FAPE; however, Congress’s amendments to IDEA and the creation of NCLB suggest a standard of FAPE that emphasizes the success of special education students. Thus, Wyoming should follow in the footsteps of a minority of states that have adopted statutes providing a higher standard.
Mikole Bede Soto,
Access or Success?: Wyoming Special Education and the Hope of a New Era in Appropriate Education,
16 Wyo. L. Rev.
Available at: http://repository.uwyo.edu/wlr/vol16/iss1/8