Systemic Change Powerpoint


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Systemic Change Powerpoint

  1. 1. Why Systemic Change? Systemic Change in Urban Affect a large number of students School Districts with disabilities Potentially bring about positive Ron Lospennato, Esq. changes for all students Courtney Bowie, Esq. Efficient SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER How To Approach Why Systemic Change? Systemic Change Topics National statistics suggest 30- Litigation 70% of youth involved in Litigation Examples delinquency system have a Litigation Remedies disability. Legislation Organizing Why Systemic Change (cont.) WHY? Students identified as ED have the worst Graduation Rate of All Students with Disabilities Graduation rate for students with (Nationally) disabilities in Cleveland is 57.5%* Only 35% of Students Identified as Emotionally Disturbed Graduate with a Regular High School The dropout rate is 42.5%* Diploma (Nationally) In Louisiana, only 8% of ED students graduate with a Diploma *Ohio Department of Education, 2005-2006 school year
  2. 2. How to Develop a Systemic Administrative Complaints Response Filed with State Department of Education The complaint can be filed by any parent, Litigation organization or group with evidence of an LEA’s failure to comply with IDEA; Administrative Complaints School district is typically the defendant; Administrative Due Process The state has 60 days to investigate and Hearings respond to the allegation(s); It can be mediated and result in settlement Federal or State Court Litigation agreements. ADVANTAGES OF ADMIN. Disadvantages COMPLAINTS No Attorney Fees unless negotiated They are cost-efficient Less Control Over Process May have to litigate contract claim (i.e. They are substantially faster than due Holmes County) process and federal litigation *Big variable is quality of State Monitors As an advocate for students in a district, and/or state department of education you get access to information (discovery) TYPICAL LEGAL CLAIMS IN Typical Legal Claims (cont.) LITIGATION Failure to develop IEPs that produced Individual Failure to provide appropriate educational benefit levels of related services Failure to provide students with disabilities Failure to educate students with appropriate related services disabilities in the least restrictive Failure to provide appropriate transition environment services Failure to adhere to IDEA’s disciplinary Failure to ensure that the School District provisions did all of above
  3. 3. EXAMPLES OF Typical Legal Claims (cont.) ADMINISTRATIVE COMPLAINTS Due Process or Court Actions Involving State has failed to appropriately monitor or compel the school district to correct and eliminate above IDEA violations East Baton Rouge, LA Many of the systemic IDEA violations in Calcasieu Parish, LA (threatened Louisiana persisted over several LDE monitoring cycles and thus LDE was legally responsible only), [Corey H. v. Ill. SBE , 642 F. Supp. 900 (N.D. Ill Caddo (see example) 1998). Failure To Ensure FAPE Holmes County, Mississippi Caddo Parish Administrative Caddo Parish Admin. Complaint Complaint Systemic Class Complaint filed under state Class/Systemic IDEA Violations Involving: complaint management system against CPPSS - Related Services approx. 200 ED students and other students with disabilities with school removals totaling LRE more than 10 days– approx. 200 additional days– Discipline students) Educational Benefit Six students served as class representatives Caddo Admin. Complaint (cont.) Caddo Admin. Complaint (cont.) Key Statistics in Caddo: LDE - Monitoring team sent to CPPSS in March 2007 Self-contained placement rate -32 % (2 times Self- statewide average) Team failed to fully investigate all claims Drop-out rate -students with disabilities is Drop- Second, smaller monitoring team returned 47.1% (more than 2 times statewide average in October 2007 Suspension rates ( in-school and out-of-school in- out- of- Allegations of complaint were largely suspensions) for students with disabilities - substantiated 41.7%. Statewide average 30.6% The district is ordered to hire a consultant to help resolve its IDEA violations
  4. 4. Administrative Due Process (cont.) Administrative Due Process Hearing (Jefferson Parish) School District, Class Due Process State, or both can be defendant(s) -This process was used in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana Jefferson Parish Class Due Jefferson Parish Class Due Process Process Complaint (cont.) Followed Numerous Individual Complaints Failure to adhere to IDEA’s disciplinary Class Complaint (on behalf of all ED students provisions in Jefferson Parish) versus the state dept. of Failure to educate ED students in the least education restrictive environment To address the following issues: Failure to provide appropriate amounts of social work and counseling services Failure to develop IEPs that were reasonably calculated to produce educational benefit Failure to provide appropriate transition planning and programming* Jefferson Parish Mediated Settlement Agreement Settlement Agreement Highlights Reached a Settlement Agreement August, The CAP developed by Dr. Olmi has 2005 specific strategies to ensure that Jefferson Appointment of a Special Master (Dr. Joe Parish significantly increases the Olmi, University of Southern Mississippi) to frequency and duration of social oversee delivery of special education work/counseling/psychological services services for ED students in Jefferson provided to Emotionally Disturbed Parish students and that these related services Development of a Corrective Action Plan are provided based upon individual need (CAP) and not staff availability Implementation of CAP
  5. 5. Settlement Agreement Highlights Settlement Agreement Highlights (cont.) (cont.) The CAP addresses DISCIPLINE violations CAP includes the closure of all “John in Jefferson Parish. Martyn” or “MRE” classrooms within 12-18 district-wide training for all professionals months of Dr. Olmi’s appointment working at school with ED students Creation of a central administrative tracking CAP includes strategies and objectives for system for recording the number of removals significantly increasing ED students’ from school for special education students access to less restrictive environments (including ED students) including the general education curriculum Elimination of policy/practice of “Cool-off” suspensions Settlement Agreement Highlights Settlement Agreement Highlights (cont.) (cont.) CAP includes the development and The CAP includes: specific strategies to increase coordination between implementation of intervention strategies district operated career and technical/vocation/Pre- that include intensive reading and math GED/Skills Option Programs and Jefferson Parish schools remediation for ED students in elementary specific strategies to increase ED students’ participation in the vocational/Pre-GED programs school who are determined to be more The CAP also includes development and than two years behind their chronological implementation of a written district policy grade level in reading and/or math (3 requiring the vocational schools to provide IEP services (including behavior plans) for special years behind for junior high and high education students school ED students) Federal/State Court Litigation Federal/State Litigation (cont.) Beth V. v. Carrol, 87 F.3d 80 (3rd Parties Cir. 1996); School District Corey H. v. Chicago Board of Educ., State, 995 F. Supp. 900 (N.D. Ill. 1998). or both Juvenile justice agency may be an appropriate James O. v. State Dept. of Ed. party in some cases
  6. 6. Mediated Settlement Agreement v. Federal/State Litigation (cont.) Hearing Officer or Court Orders Exhaustion Issues Futility Exception Settlement agreements have to include an enforcement and monitoring mechanism Private Right Action Enforcing or Challenging in the settlement agreement in order not complaint decisions to relitigate; Agreements are enforceable as contract Contract claims enforcing resolution actions in state court. agreements and/or mediated settlement agreements REMEDIES REMEDIES (CONT.) Appointment of Special Master or Educational Consultant; RELATED SERVICES: Consultants are responsible for development CAP should provide for significant increase in and implementation of corrective action plan; the frequency and duration of related services In East Baton Rouge, we got nationally (social work, counseling, and/or psychological recognized PBIS experts Don Kincaid & Josh services) provided to students Harrower Implementation of PBIS; R E M E D IE S ( C O N T . ) REMEDIES (CONT.) DISCIPLINE TRANSITION SERVICES In East Baton Rouge, district-wide training for Increased coordination between school all staff on PBIS; district’s vocational training programs and all Central tracking system for discipline referrals high schools in the district; and removals, now including arrests; Increased participation of ED students in Elimination of disciplinary practices (cool-off vocational training programs; suspensions) Implementation of IEPs, including BIPs, at New discipline handbook vocational training programs.
  7. 7. REMEDIES (CONT.) REMEDIES (CONT.) LRE PROVISIONS: EDUCATIONAL BENEFIT PROVISIONS: STRATEGIES DESIGNED/IMPLEMENTED AS “Intensive” reading and math remediation for PART OF CAP FOR INCREASING ED ED students who are more than 2 years STUDENTS’ ACCESS TO REGULAR behind their chronological grade level in the EDUCATION CLASSROOMS subject; Elimination of the shortened school day ORGANIZING LEGISLATION Federal Legislation– Parent Training; Federal PBIS (Obama bill); Youth Training amendments to NCLB and IDEA; Working with Local and State Interested Parties: State legislation- School Boards Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana Department of Education State Legislature Federal Legislature COALITION BUILDING LOCALLY Information Available about Complaints LEGAL AID P&A/PTI COMMUNITY GROUPS; PUBLIC DEFENDERS JUVENILE COURTS SCHOOL DISTRICTS e.jsp