Hot Button Issues In S P E D L A W


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Hot Button Issues In S P E D L A W

  1. 1. Significant Changes under IDEA 2004 HOT BUTTON ISSUES IN SPECIAL • TOPICS EDUCATION LAW – IEPS Ron Lospennato, Esq. – DUE PROCESS SPLC School To Prison Reform Project – DISCIPLINE Courtney A. Bowie, Esq. – RESPONSE TO SPLC Mississippi Youth Justice Project INTERVENTION Individualized Education Programs Short-Term Objectives • No Short Term Objectives Required • The result of the lack of STOs, in – They can be requested for any student; many cases, is that the curriculum is – Only required for students who are taking written into IEP as the annual alternate assessments (very small percentage objectives of students with disabilities) • Multi-year IEP Process • Without advocacy, IEP can end up – Up to 15 states may allow LEAs to offer (with being weak and/or meaningless parental consent) a multi-year IEP, not to exceed 3 years Transition (14 to 16) IEP Progress Reports • The progress the student is making toward • Transition is now required for the meeting the annual goals is still required in IEP in place when the student turns the IEP; 16 – BUT – It can be requested at an earlier age, • “the extent to which the progress is but it is no longer required at 14 sufficient to attain the goal by the end of the year” is no longer in the law – There is good news…. 1
  2. 2. Transition Services TRANSITION SERVICES (cont.) (defined) • Instruction • Related services • A coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that (i) is designed to be within a • Community experiences results-oriented process, that is focused on • The development of employment improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to and other post-school adult living facilitate the child’s movement from school to objectives; and post-school activities, including post-secondary • If appropriate, acquisition of daily education, vocational education, integrated employment, continuing and adult education, adult living skills and provision of a services, independent living, or community functional vocational evaluation. participation, (ii) based on the child’s individual – 34 CFR Sec. 300.43, 20 USC needs, taking into account the child’s strengths, preferences, and interests; and includes – 1401 (34) IEP attendance and participation DUE PROCESS-IDEA 2004 • The new law allows certain IEP team • Resolution Sessions members to be excused from • Procedural Safeguards attendance if their area is not being • Statute of Limitations discussed • Notice/Sufficiency • Written parental consent is required before this can occur • Attorneys’ Fees Resolution Sessions Resolution Session (cont.) • Number One New Issue • Not Confidential • MANDATORY – Could be a fishing expedition for district – parents must attend a resolution session within 15 days of filing a due process • School cannot have their attorney complaint present if parent does not have an attorney present – School district has 30 days to resolved the complaint • No attorneys’ fees 2
  3. 3. Procedural Safeguards Statute of Limitations • Procedural safeguards are given out: – only upon initial referral, • TWO YEARS – when parent requests an evaluation, – From date the parent knew or should – when due process filed, or have known that an IDEA violation – if parent requests a copy occurred Due Process Complaint Notice/Sufficiency Challenges Attorneys’ Fees • School districts may ask for • School districts must file a response to a attorneys’ fees for defending against due process complaint within 10 days unless the district notifies h.o. within 15 frivolous due process complaint (i.e. days that it is challenging the sufficiency Rule 11) of the complaint (similar to motion to – Parents may be responsible if the dismiss) purpose of the due process is • Significant change for states like Louisiana unnecessary delay or needless increase that allowed oral complaints over the in the cost of litigation phone DISCIPLINE STAY-PUT RULE • Stay-put • Stay put used to keep a student with a disability in her current educational • Services in IAES setting after a complaint was filed (i.e. 10- • 45 Day Rule day change in placement) • Weapons, Drugs & Serious Bodily • The new law keeps the child in the interim Injury alternative educational setting (IAES) while, for instance, an MDR is challenged • Manifestation Determination Reviews 3
  4. 4. Services To Be Provided to Students in IAES 45 Calendar Day vs. School Day • The 1997 law stated that a student had to • The old law stated that a SWD could only be provided services sufficient to meet be removed for 45 calendar days for the goals and objectives of his IEP; offenses involving weapons or drugs • The new law states that a student has to • The new law states that a SWD may be be provided services to enable him to removed for 45 school days (9 weeks) for progress toward meeting the goals in the offenses involving weapons, drugs, or IEP. serious bodily injury. Weapons, Drugs, and Serious Bodily Injury Serious Bodily Injury • Defined as: involving a substantial risk of death; extreme physical pain, • Students with disabilities may be protracted and obvious removed to an IAES for 45 school disfigurement, or protracted loss or days for: weapons, drugs, and serious impairment of the function of a bodily injury bodily member, organ, or mental faculty Manifestation Determination RESPONSE TO Reviews INTERVENTION • Response to Intervention (RTI) • Now have to show that behavior was caused by or had a direct and substantial required for students suspected of relationship to the students’ disability; having learning disabilities • The law no longer includes a requirement • This is being used very broadly for that MDRs include consideration of students suspected of all types of whether or not the IEP was being disabilities implemented. 4
  5. 5. RTI – The Good, The Bad • The good: – It is designed to ensure that students have had quality instruction prior to being identified as having a learning disability QUESTIONS • The bad: – It can delay evaluation for six months – Parental involvement varies from LEA to LEA 5