Special Education for Kids When they Turn 18 - Special Education Attorney
Special Education for Students Who Turn 18
When a disabled student turns 18 a,the student and his or her parent need to consider how the law impacts this event especially in terms of educational decision making.
First, the law states: When a studentreceiving special education serviceswho is legally competent reaches 18 years of age, the local educational agency shall provide any required notice of procedural safeguards to both the student and the student’sparents. (34 C.F.R. § 300.517(a); Ed. Code, § 56041.5.).
All other special education rightspreviously accorded to the parents shall transfer to the student.
Consider asking whether it’s appropriate to transfer educational rights from the student, who has reached 18, to the parent. This can be done with a form that confirms bysignatures of the parent/guardians andthe student that the student wishes tohave all educational decisions made by the parent.
A legal guardianship can also beobtained to transfer these rights and should be considered for student’swho are reaching the age of majorityand do not have the ability to care for themselves.
All of the above are important to consider if your child is going tocontinue on in public k-12 schoolbeyond 18 or you are contesting graduation.
If you contest graduation, it’s critical that you do this on the record inwriting and before the child actually graduates.
California Education Code section 56026.1(a) and 34 Code of Federal Regulations part 300.122(a)(3)(i)provide that a student who graduates from high school with a regular highschool diploma is no longer eligible for special education services.
Some courts have found that any claimthat a FAPE was denied becomes moot upon a valid graduation. Along these lines, some courts have long held that there is authority to ordercompensatory education to an adult ifit is necessary to cure a past violation.
(Bd. of Education of Oak Park & RiverForest High School Dist. 200 v. Ill. StateBd. of Education (7th Cir. 1996) 79 F.3d 654, 656; see also Capistrano Unified School Dist. v. Wartenberg (9th Cir. 1995) 59 F.3d 884, 890 [request for reimbursement for private school tuition is not moot after the student graduates from high school];
Maine School Administrative Dist. No.35 v. Mr. and Mrs. R. (1st Cir. 2003) 321 F.3d 9, 18 [a child eligible for special education services may be entitled to further services in compensation for past violations even after his or hereligibility for special education services has expired]; Pihl v. Mass. Dept. of Education (1st Cir. 1993) 9 F.3d 184,
189, relying upon Zobrest v. CatalinaFoothills School Dist. (1993) 509 U.S. 1, 4 fn. 3 [request for reimbursement of educational services remains a livecontroversy after student’s graduation from high school].)
If you believe you require transference of ed rights or contesting graduation, it’s critical you seek legal advice.
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