Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education


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Subject: U.S. Supreme Court Opinion/Attorney Representation in Court
Source: Cynthia Quetsch, Legal Counsel

Intended Audience: Directors of Special Education and other special education contacts

Date: May 22, 2007

The United States Supreme Court has issued a decision finding that parents have a personal right, separate from the right of their child, to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) for their children.
In Winkelman v. Parma City School District, the Court held that parents can proceed in federal court without an attorney to determine if the school district has provided FAPE for their child. The Court declined to rule on whether nonlawyer parents can represent the child's interests in federal court. The full opinion can be viewed at http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/06pdf/05-983.pdf.

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Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Division of Special Education
P.O. Box 480
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Email:  webreplyspe@dese.mo.gov
Phone: 573-751-5739   Fax:  573-526-4404


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