IDEA

News & Analysis as of

Anne Littlefield Quoted in Special Ed Connection Article, “Use Caution When Shortening Student’s School Day to Address Behavior”

A public charter school student with autism and an emotional disturbance is suspended frequently over the course of a school year, with 10 days of removals in total. In an effort to address his behavioral issues, which...more

Legal Update: Amendments to the Public School Code - Diabetes Management

On July 13, 2016, Governor Wolf signed into law House Bill 1606, now known as Act 86 of 2016 (“Act 86”). Included among the numerous amendments to the Public School Code, Act 86 establishes new requirements for LEAs related...more

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Special Education Case

On June 28, the Supreme Court of the United States issued an order accepting to hear an appeal out of Michigan in the case Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools, No. 15-497, order granting cert, (June 28, 2016), that presents the...more

Proposed IDEA Regulations - Disproportionality

On February 23, 2016 the United States Department of Education (ED) issued its proposed “Equity in IDEA” rule; regulations intended to address the overrepresentation of minorities in special education. The expressed intent of...more

Federal Judge Reverses Own Ruling on Release of Student Data

“Not so fast!” cried privacy advocates and parents when California federal judge Kimberly Mueller ordered the release of a huge database of personally identifiable student information to a group of plaintiffs’...more

U.S. Department of Education Issues More Guidance on ESSA

The U.S. Department of Education (“ED”) recently issued a second Dear Colleague Letter interpreting the Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”), which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (“ESEA”) and...more

Case Permits Possible Disclosure of Student Records by California Department of Education

School Districts Should Notify Parents About April 1 Opt-Out Deadline - A federal judge has ordered the California Department of Education to release information about students who are attending, or who have attended,...more

Second Circuit Holds District Denied FAPE by Refusing to Discuss Bullying at IEP Meeting

On January 20, 2016, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued its decision in T.K. v. New York City Dep’t of Educ., — F.3d —, 2016 WL 229842 (2d Cir. Jan. 20, 2016), an important decision regarding the role of a...more

“Some” Educational Benefit Is the Correct Standard for Determining FAPE Under the IDEA

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals recently reiterated that the correct standard for determining whether a student has received a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) is whether the student has received “some” rather...more

OSERS Issues Special Education Guidance

The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS), part of the United States Department of Education, recently issued two Dear Colleague letters, one related to students with dyslexia, dyscalculia, and...more

Court Finds School District May Have Violated Disabled Student’s Civil Rights

In T.B., et al. v. San Diego Unified School District (No. 12-56060, Amended 11/19/15), the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that a reasonable jury could find the San Diego Unified School District...more

Special Education Student Succeeds In Bid For Fees Under Individuals With Disabilities Education Act

In T.B. v. San Diego United School District, 2015 DJDAR 8756, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decided a fee case arising under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA)....more

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

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