Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District clarifies how schools are to provide Free Appropriate Public Education

Open Access
Smith, Madeline
Area of Honors:
Education and Public Policy
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • David Alexander Gamson, Thesis Supervisor
  • David Alexander Gamson, Honors Advisor
  • Maria M Lewis, Thesis Supervisor
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
  • Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District
  • free appropriate public education
  • FAPE
  • IDEA
  • amicus curiae briefs analysis
On April 24, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States issued the decision on Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District in which the Court was asked to determine the level of educational benefit that school districts must provide children with disabilities in order to ensure the free appropriate public education (FAPE) guaranteed by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Thirty-five years prior to Endrew F., the Court was asked the same question in Board of Education of Hendrick Hudson Central School District, Westchester County v. Rowley. In those thirty-five years, different interpretations of the standard set in Rowley led to much confusion among courts, school districts, educators, and parents of how to comply with the IDEA and what it means to provide students with disabilities a FAPE. Through legal analysis of circuit court decisions, amicus curiae briefs, and the Endrew F. decision itself, this study hopes to explore whether or not Endrew F. provides enough clarification of the Rowley decision to mitigate the problems in interpreting FAPE.