Analysis of caselaw. There is no uniform or ever dominant approach to evaluating the issue of cost in special education cases. Careful attention to relevant cases in each jurisdiction is of primary importance. Nevertheless, a few overall principles appear to be emerging across jurisdictions: • Under the current state of the law, it would be inadvisable for any district to base a placement decision solely upon cost. • Cost cannot be used to justify a blanket exclusion of services available to all handicapped children unless such an exclusion is found in the Act. • Cost cannot be used as a defense where a school district has failed to offer a continuum of programs as required under the Act. • The high cost of a handicapped child's program is material in its effect on the cost of programs for other handicapped students more than on that for non-handicapped students. • Courts are increasingly although not consistently comparing the cost of a program or services to the benefit received by the child.
Date Published: Dec 31, 1991
Education Law Reporter