Y.B. v. Howell Township Board of Education, No. 20-1840 (3d Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
S.B., a 12-year-old boy with Down Syndrome, requires special education. In 2014, S.B. and his parents moved from New York to Lakewood, New Jersey. S.B.’s parents requested an individualized education program (IEP) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). 20 U.S.C. 140, from the Lakewood Township School District. Lakewood determined it could not provide S.B. an IDEA-mandated free appropriate public education (FAPE) at its own public schools. It crafted an IEP that placed S.B. at the private School for Children with Hidden Intelligence (SCHI) and reimbursed the costs. In November 2016, the family moved homes and transferred S.B. from Lakewood to the Howell School District. Howell’s staff reviewed the Lakewood IEP, met with the family, and indicated “that [S.B.’s] IEP can be implemented in [Howell’s special education] class at Memorial Elementary School where [S.B.] will receive a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment.” His parents continued to send S.B. to SCHI. In February 2017, Howell terminated S.B.’s enrollment.
After a due process hearing, an ALJ ruled for Howell. The district court granted Howell summary judgment. The Third Circuit affirmed. While section 1415(j), the “stay-put” provision, provides generally that eligible students must remain in their current educational settings during certain procedures, section 1414(d)(2)(C)(i)(I), the intrastate transfer provision, says that schools need only provide eligible transfer students comparable services to those they were previously receiving.