Spring Branch Independent School District v. O.W., No. 18-20274 (5th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
Upon panel rehearing, the Fifth Circuit withdrew its prior opinion and substituted the following opinion.
After an administrative hearing officer found that the School District violated the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and awarded O.W. two years of private school tuition, the district court affirmed the award.
The Fifth Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding that the IDEA's text and structure, including its implementing regulations, compel a conclusion that the child find and expedited evaluation requirements are separate and independent such that a violation of the latter does not mean a violation of the former. To the extent the district court held otherwise, the court held that this was error. The court also held that the continued use of behavioral interventions was not a proactive step toward compliance with the school district's child find duties and thus a child find violation occurred. The court further held that the district court erred in finding the May 6, 2015, modification represented an actionable failure to implement O.W.'s individualized education program (IEP), but correctly concluded the May 18, 2015, modification rose to the level of an actionable violation. The court remanded the remedy question to the district court for reconsideration.
This opinion or order relates to an opinion or order originally issued on September 16, 2019.