Doe v. Portland Public Schools, No. 21-1589 (1st Cir. 2022)Annotate this Case
The First Circuit reversed the order of the district court issued under the stay-put provision of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. 1415(j), ordering Portland Public Schools to pay for John Doe's placement at a private school during the pendency of these proceedings, holding that the district court erred.
During Doe's fourth-grade year, his parents unilaterally placed him at a private school. The Does subsequently filed for a due process hearing alleging that Portland violated the IDEA by previously finding Doe ineligible for special education services. The district court ordered Portland to pay for Doe's tuition for the duration of this litigation at Aucocisco School, where his parents had unilaterally placed him despite the fact that the hearing officer whose decision was being reviewed had determined that the individualized education plan issued by Portland would provide a free appropriate public education. Portland appealed, arguing that the district court impermissibly ordered it to pay for Doe's placement at the private school during the pendency of these proceedings. The First Circuit reversed, holding that the purposes of the IDEA were not served by having Portland continue to pay for Doe's tuition at Aucocisco.