To amend the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to permit a prevailing party in an action or proceeding brought to enforce the Act to be awarded expert witness fees and certain other expenses. Analysis:
Few parents can afford the thousands of dollars needed to pay for expert testimony that is necessary to prevail in IDEA due process hearings and litigation. But school districts can use tax dollars to employ and pay for psychologists and other technical experts. Parents have fewer resources and yet must bear a greater financial burden. The IDEA Fairness Restoration Act, H.R. 2740, is necessary to allow parents to recover their expert witness fees. It will restore Congress’ original intent. This bipartisan bill, introduced by Congressman Chris Van Hollen (Maryland) and Pete Sessions (Texas), will help level the playing field and make the right to due process meaningful for parents across America.
Over 200 organizations support this bill, including the Arc, the Council of Parent Attorneys & Advocates, Inc. (COPAA), Easter Seals, National Disability Rights Network (NDRN), National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS), National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC), National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD), LDA, DREDF, TASH, CHADD, Center for Law and Education, Epilepsy Foundation, Autism Society of America, United Cerebral Palsy, Our Children Left Behind, and many others.