IDEA

News & Analysis as of

Taking The “Due” Out of Due Process – OSERS and Compliance Complaints

During a brief altercation in Dashiell Hammett’s classic novel, The Maltese Falcon, the protagonist, Sam Spade, warns one of his antagonists that “when you’re slapped, you’ll take it and like it.” That is much the same...more

SDE Weighs in on Parents’ Right to Independent Educational Evaluations

The Connecticut State Department of Education (“SDE”) recently issued a guidance memorandum providing its interpretation of when a parent is entitled to a publicly funded independent educational evaluation (“IEE”) under the...more

What to Do When Your Child Turns 18, Part I: Education and Employment

At some point in their child's early adolescence, most families suddenly realize that the services and programs that they rely on to care for the child will soon disappear and be replaced by radically different benefits. ...more

OSERS Issues New Guidance Regarding State and Due Process Complaints

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) has issued new guidance in response to concern that some public agencies are filing due process complaints concerning the same...more

OSEP Provides Guidance on Parent’s Right to an Independent Educational Evaluation

The topic of independent educational evaluations under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) has, now more than ever, become one of the most discussed and debated topics in special education....more

OSEP Urges LEAs to Respect Parents’ Choice of Dispute Resolution Process

On April 15, 2015, the Office for Special Education Programs (OSEP) within the U.S. Department of Education issued a Dear Colleague Letter regarding the interaction between the due process hearing system and the state...more

Parents Can Litigate IDEA Claims When Adult Students Have Delegated Education Rights

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, recently held that even where a disabled student has reached the age of majority under state law, his parents may litigate...more

NSBA to OCR: Standard for Addressing Requests for Technology by Students With a Communication Impairment is Off Key

Readers of our FR Alerts may remember my colleague Kendra B. Yoch authored an Alert in 2013 about a set of outlier cases in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, K.M. v. Tustin Unified School District and D.H. v. Poway Unified...more

OSEP Issues Letter Expanding Parents’ Right to an IEE

One of the most significant safeguards that parents of students with disabilities have under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the right to an independent educational evaluation (IEE). In essence, this...more

SDE Releases New “Working Definition” of Dyslexia for Special Education Eligibility

Last year the General Assembly enacted Public Act 14-39, which required the Connecticut State Department of Education (SDE) to add “SLD-Dyslexia” as a separate primary disability category under the existing “specific learning...more

Department of Education Issues Guidance on Sufficient Communication Modalities

On November 12, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), and the U.S. Department of Justice distributed a joint Dear...more

Circuit Court Finds Stay Put Does Not Apply to Unilateral Placement

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides that during the pendency of a dispute, a student must remain in his/her “then-current educational placement”; this is known as stay put. The IDEA does not,...more

Public School Advocacy Groups Seek Supreme Court Review of “Stay-Put” Placements in Private Schools

One of the most important due process protections afforded to disabled students under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the principle of “stay-put” or “pendency” placement....more

School Segregation of Special Needs Students

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) requires public schools to develop an Individualized Education Program for every student with a disability who is found to meet the federal and state requirements for...more

Second Circuit Says Least-Restrictive Environment Requirement Applies to Extended-Year Placements

On April 2, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that the least-restrictive environment requirement (LRE) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) applies to extended school-year...more

Attorneys’ Fees Awarded To Charter School In IDEA Action

The District Court for the District of Columbia recently issued a decision awarding attorneys’ fees to a charter school (that operates as its own local education agency), finding that the parent’s attorney filed and continued...more

Feds Revive Efforts to Regulate Seclusion and Restraint

On February 12, 2014 the United States Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions [“HELP”] Committee released the results of its investigation into the use of restraint and seclusion in schools. Entitled Dangerous Use of...more

Class Action Chronicle - Winter 2013

"In This Issue: - Courts Weighs in on Ascertainability - CLASS CERTIFICATION DECISIONS: ..Decision Granting Motion to Strike ..Decisions Denying Motions to Strike ..Decisions Rejecting/Denying...more

The U.S. Department of Education Continues Its War on Bullying - “Dear Colleague” Letter Focuses on Protecting Students with...

A school district’s failure to properly address bullying of students with disabilities could result in a denial of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) for those students. This is the message clearly conveyed to school...more

Provision Of FAPE Under The IDEA May Not Satisfy ADA For Students With Communication Impairments

In combined cases K.M. v. Tustin Unified School District and D.H. v. Poway Unified School District, the Ninth Circuit determined that although the school districts provided the students with hearing impairments with a free...more

Third Circuit Finds That Student Misidentified As Disabled Cannot Bring IDEA Suit Against District

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides that the parent of a child with a disability can bring a due process complaint against a school district to address disputes related to the identification,...more

DOE Releases “Dear Colleague Letter” On School District Responsibilities To Address Bullying Of Students With Disabilities

On August 20, 2013, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) released a “Dear Colleague Letter” providing an overview of school districts’ responsibilities under the Individuals with Disabilities...more

Ninth Circuit Finds Scheduling Difficulties Do Not Excuse District From Excluding Parent From IEP Meeting

In Doug C. v. State of Hawaii Department of Education, the IEP team had placed a student with autism in a private day school for the past 6 years....more

ISBE Proposes To Repeal Regulation Targeting Special Education Class Size And General Education Definition

Since the IDEA’s precursor, the Education for All Handicapped Children’s Act, almost 40 years ago, ISBE has regulated the size and staffing of special education classrooms....more

No Obligation to Coordinate or Pay for Disability-Based Personal Care Services at Colleges and Universities

Some students with disabilities need on-campus personal care attendants to assist them with daily activities such as dressing, transferring to and from wheelchairs, feeding, personal hygiene, and navigating the campus. Both...more

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