Emerging Issues Session Powerpoint

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Emerging Issues Session Powerpoint

  1. 1. EMERGING ISSUES IN SPECIAL EDUCATION STOPPING THE SCHOOL TO PRISON PIPELINE RON LOSPENNATO, ESQ. COURTNEY BOWIE, ESQ. Our goal is to have a national impact in SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline. > As many as 70% of the youth involved in the juvenile justice system have disabilities.* Examining the Data * National average from The National Center on Education, Disability and Juvenile Justice. www.edjj.org. 35% > Learning disabled youth are 200% more likely to be arrested than non-disabled youth for comparable activity, are more likely to be adjudicated, and spend longer periods of time locked up or on probation. > Only 35% of students identified as Emotionally Disturbed, graduate with a regular high school diploma.
  2. 2. > Between 1972 and 2000, the percentage of White students suspended annually for more than one-day rose from 3.1% to 5.09%. During the same period, the percentage for African-American students rose from 6% to 13.2%. > The overrepresentation of students with disabilities and Minorities in the juvenile justice system is exacerbated by the fact that since the early 1990’s, many school districts have adopted a “zero tolerance” approach to wrongdoing. School-to-Prison Reform Project School- to- The approach is a multifaceted one using litigation, legislation, the media and public education. A core strategy is using special education law as the lever to get school- wide Positive Behavioral Supports (PBIS) > Although juvenile crime dropped during the last half of the adopted around the country. 1990’s, the number of cases involving juveniles—mostly non-violent—increased, along with the number of youths held in secure facilities for non-violent offenses. Positive Behavioral Supports PBIS’s premise is that continual, school-wide and individualized teaching, modeling, recognizing and (PBIS) is an evidence-based, rewarding positive student behavior will reduce systems-wide method of unnecessary discipline and promote a climate of improving student behavior. greater productivity, safety, and learning.
  3. 3. Individuals with Disabilities PBIS is critical because Education Act of 2004 > It is a viable alternative to zero tolerance ( IDEA ) IDEA mandates that students with disabilities: > It will create a hospitable environment for kids Allowing them to remain in school Giving kids—diverted from the juvenile justice system or released for juvenile detention—the opportunity to succeed in school Individuals with Disabilities Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 Education Act of 2004 ( IDEA ) ( IDEA ) IDEA mandates that students with disabilities: IDEA mandates that students with disabilities: > Be educated in the least restrictive environment > Be provided with individualized education programs (IEPs) that provide educational benefit Individuals with Disabilities Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 Education Act of 2004 ( IDEA ) ( IDEA ) IDEA mandates that students with disabilities: IDEA mandates that students with disabilities: > Be provided related services such as social work and counseling > Be provided transition services so that they can work and live independently after they leave school
  4. 4. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 ( IDEA ) IDEA mandates that students with disabilities: 1 In the three states we already have a physical presence. > Be provided public education through the age of 21 (unless they graduate or leave sooner) 1 3 offices directly operated by SPLC 2 > Montgomery, AL — Alabama Educational Reform > Jackson, MS — Mississippi Youth Justice Project > New Orleans, LA — School to Prison Reform Project in Partnership with the Southern Disability Law Center
  5. 5. Grantees CALIFORNIA — Protection and Advocacy, Inc. in LA FLORIDA — the Florida P&A, Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities in Tampa Tampa (Hillsborough County) Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County (Palm Beach County) KENTUCKY — Children Law Center (Bullitt County) > Administrative Complaints — Louisiana, Mississippi Typical Legal Issues > Litigation — Beth V. v. Carrol, 87 F.3d 80 (3rd Cir. 1996); Corey H. v. Chicago Board of Educ., 995 F. Supp. 900 (N.D. Ill. 1998) > Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) Issues > Discipline Issues Strategies > Federal Legislation — Federal PBIS (Obama bill) > State Legislation — Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana > Coalition Building Locally — Florida (Legal Aid, P&A, > Related Service Issues Public Defenders) > Educated Benefit Issues > Cooperative Agreements — Louisiana (Juvenile Courts, Police School districts, School Districts) > Transition Service Issues > Coalition Building Nationally — NJDC, ACLU, Harvard Civil Rights, NAACP etc. 3
  6. 6. Typical Special Education Issues DISCIPLINE OF STUDENTS WITH Impacting STPP DISABILITIES •DISCIPLINE IDEA REQUIRES A MANIFESTATION •INAPPROPRIATE RELATED SERVICES •FAILURE TO EDUCATE IN LEAST DETERMINATION REVIEW TO BE RESTRICTIVE ENVIRONMENT CONDUCTED PRIOR TO A “CHANGE IN •FAILURE TO PROPERLY EVALUATE PLACEMENT” OR A REMOVAL FOR MORE STUDENTS THAN 10 DAYS FOR A STUDENT WITH A •FAILURE TO PROVIDE APPROPRIATE TRANSITION PLANS DISABILITY. •EDUCATIONAL BENEFIT ISSUES STPP IS IMPACTED BY MANY DISTRICTS •POOR QUALITY TEACHING AT EVERY LEVEL FAILING TO CONDUCT MDRS AT ALL •FAILURE TO DEVELOP APPROPRIATE IEPS PRIOR TO SUSPENDING OR EXPELLING •FAILURE TO IMPLEMENT IEPS THAT HAVE BEEN DEVELOPED STUDENTS. EVEN WORSE… DISCIPLINE OF STUDENTS WITH INAPPROPRIATE RELATED SERVICES DISABILITIES (CONT.) IDEA defines related services as: transportation and other services as are required to assist a disabled SCHOOLS ARE HAVING STUDENTS (AS child to benefit from special YOUNG AS 9 AND 10) ARRESTED FROM education, including: SCHOOL FOR: Psychological services •CONDUCT THAT DOES NOT NECESSARILY Physical and occupational therapy INVOLVE WEAPONS OR DRUGS; Speech-language pathology Counseling services •CONDUCT SUCH AS CURSING AT THEIR Social work services TEACHERS Parent counseling and training. INAPPROPRIATE RELATED SERVICES (CONT.) FAILURE TO EDUCATE IN LRE DESPITE IDEA’S PROVISIONS, WE HAVE SEEN: Children with disabilities 1. THE FAILURE TO DEVELOP BEHAVIOR have the right to be INTERVENTION PLANS; educated in the least 2. WOEFULLY INADEQUATE LEVELS OF restrictive environment SOCIAL WORK AND COUNSELING SERVICES (IF ANY); appropriate. 3. A LACK OF MENTAL HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS; Despite this requirement in 4. NO OR INSUFFICIENT PBIS PROGRAMS. IDEA…
  7. 7. FAILURE TO EDUCATE IN LRE FAILURE TO PROPERLY EVALUATE IDEA’S CHILD FIND MANDATE: STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES ARE OFTEN: The State must have in effect policies and procedures to ensure that – 1. IN SELF-CONTAINED SETTINGS; All children with disabilities in 2. IN ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLS; need of special education and 3. HAVE TO “EARN THE RIGHT” TO BE related services, are identified, IN LESS RESTRICTIVE SETTINGS. located, and evaluated. However… However… FAILURE TO PROPERLY EVALUATE (CONT.) INAPPROPRIATE TRANSITION Transition Services under IDEA are defined as: A coordinated set of activities for a child with a MANY CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES disability that (i) is designed to be within a results-oriented process, that is focused on ARE GOING UNIDENTIFIED improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate the BECAUSE: child’s movement from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational education, integrated employment, 1.LEAs REALIZE THAT THE continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation, (ii) DISCIPLINE REGULATIONS WILL based on the child’s individual needs, taking into account the child’s strengths, preferences, and APPLY; interests; and includes – •Instruction 2.CONFUSION RE: RTI; •Related services •Community experiences 3.CONFUSION; •The development of employment and other post- school adult living objectives; and 4.UNKNOWN CAUSES. •If appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and provision of a functional vocational evaluation. INAPPROPRIATE TRANSITION Educational Benefit Issues Students with disabilities have a right to IEPs that are reasonably calculated Despite IDEA’s Transition to enable them to receive educational mandate, students with benefit from them. The courts look at whether or not disabilities are routinely positive academic and non-academic denied access to district benefit is demonstrated (i.e. grades, vocational schools. standardized test scores, etc.).* *Cypress-Fairbanks Indep. Sch. Dist. v. Michael F., 118 F.3d 245 (5th Cir. 1997).
  8. 8. EDUCATIONAL BENEFIT ISSUES Educational Benefit Issues Despite the right of students with Why the lack of progress? disabilities to make progress, •Poor quality teaching in some many do not. We find many cases; students who are 3-4 years behind •Failure to develop appropriate in core subject areas such as IEPs; math and reading by the time they •Failure to implement IEPs. reach junior high school. HOW TO HELP? 1.ATTEND IEP OR ASK FOR A NEW ONE 2.REQUEST AN INDIVIDUAL DUE PROCESS HEARING 3.FILE AN INDIVIDUAL COMPLAINT WITH STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION 4.REPRESENT OR ADVOCATE FOR THE CHILD AT AN EXPULSION HEARING 5.REPRESENT THE CHILD IN YOUTH COURT, IF NECESSARY

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