Inclusive Practices and Case LawThe Tyrone Area School District strives to provide students with disabilities an appropriate education in the least restrictive environment through inclusive practices. Several case laws have been important in laying the groundwork for inclusive practices.
Oberti v. Board of Education (New Jersey)
The parents of a boy with Down Syndrome sought a regular education placement for their son. The school district had proposed placement in a self-contained classroom. The courts ruled that children with disabilities are entitled to placement in regular education classes with supplemental aids and services after several factors are considered, including the potential for the child to benefit academically and socially from the placement, the extensiveness of the likely effect of the child on the teacher and other students, and the cost of supplemental aids and services in comparison to separate placement.
Gaskin v. Pennsylvania: Settlement Agreement
The Gaskin Settlement Agreement (1994) is the result of litigation initiated by a group of families and advocacy organizations who filed a class-action lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) on behalf of a group of children with disabilities. The settlement was approved in September 2005. The overall goal of the Gaskin Settlement Agreement is to ensure that Individualized Education Program (IEP) Teams determine if a student’s IEP goals can be implemented in the regular education classroom with supplementary aids and services before considering a more restrictive educational placement.Other important changes that resulted from the Gaskin Settlement Agreement include displaying materials in all public schools to show that all children are welcome, increased professional development for teachers and other school personnel, and expanding information and training that supports parents of children with disabilities. In addition, the Gaskin Settlement Agreement ensures that IEP Teams determine appropriateness of implementing a student’s IEP goals in regular education classrooms with supplementary aids and services.