High court approves disability tuition

Children with disabilities can receive tuition assistance to cover the costs of private school in the United States.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed a lower court decision that required New York City to reimburse the parents of a learning-disabled child who attended a special-education program at a private school.

The decision in the case of Board of Education of New York v. Tom F. is expected to be a boon for Orthodox children with educational challenges.

At issue was whether the federal Individuals with Disability Act required parents to first enroll their learning-disabled children in public schools to determine if those schools were adequate to address their needs.

“There are many learning-disabled children in the Orthodox community who receive their education in non-public schools. This will yield a significant benefit for them,” said Nathan Diament, the public affairs director for the Orthodox Union who helped draft the original disability act, or IDEA.

Diament said the law guarantees a “free and appropriate” education to children with learning disabilities, “and no parent should be forced to enroll their child in an inadequate school as a precondition for getting their child the educational program the IDEA promises them.”

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