Special Education

News & Analysis as of

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

Transition Bill of Rights – New Notice Requirements

The Transition Bill of Rights for Parents of Students Receiving Special Education Services: - On May 17, 2016, the State Department of Education (“CSDE”) distributed to school superintendents the Transition Bill of...more

ESL Teachers At Private Learning Center FLSA “Teachers” Exempt from Overtime

Earlier this week, in a matter of first impression within the Second Circuit, Judge P. Kevin Castel of the Southern District of New York held that employees who teach English as a second language (“ESL”) at a privately-owned...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

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

What Can Schools Expect from the 2016 Connecticut General Assembly Session?

On February 3, 2016, the 2016 session of the Connecticut General Assembly began. Adjournment is scheduled for May 4, 2016. One can assume that a plethora of proposed bills affecting Connecticut school districts will be...more

Revised Illinois Special Education Regulations Go into Effect

The Illinois regulations related to special education were recently revised, effective January 13, 2016. Many of the changes clarify language or remove provisions specifically applicable to prior years. Additionally,...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

Headed Toward a Short Circuit? Robots, Special Education Students, and Legal Risks

When I was a kid, I loved the movie Short Circuit. (I know: I’m both dating myself and making you question my taste in movies). I always wondered if the day would come when I would have my own walking, talking robot friend...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

The State Education Department Releases a ‘Blueprint for Improved Results for Students With Disabilities’

Last week, the New York State Education Department announced that it has developed a “blueprint” for local school districts to develop effective special education programs for students with disabilities. SED stated that the...more

OSEP Issues Guidance Requiring IEPs to Be Aligned With Grade-Level Content Standards

Ever since New York State adopted the common core standards, there has been questions about how these standards would apply to students with disabilities. The response to these questions has been fairly consistent—disabled...more

When Is A School District “Deliberately Indifferent” To Student Discrimination Claims?

When a student alleges discrimination within the school environment, the school district may be held liable if it was “deliberately indifferent” to the discrimination. Three recent cases involving allegations of sexual...more

New Notice to Parents Regarding Special Education Rights

In 2012, the legislature passed Public Act 12-173 which revised Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-76d to provide that, upon request by a parent/guardian, school districts must provide an opportunity for a parent to meet with a member of...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

Top 4 Questions About Divorce and Special Education

Divorce is more common than ever. According to the Center for Disease Control, another trend on the rise is the prevalence of Attention Deficit Disorder (“ADD”) and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (“ADHD”) diagnosed in...more

OSEP Dear Colleague Letter Reminds Districts to Consider Speech/Language Needs for Students with Autism

The Office for Special Education Programs (“OSEP”) within the U.S. Department of Education recently issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” indicating its concern that students with autism may not be receiving necessary speech and...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

The Aftermath: Developments From The 2015 Session of The Connecticut General Assembly Affecting Schools

The 2015 session of the Connecticut General Assembly has just concluded. A comprehensive summary and discussion of laws that were passed during the 2015 session will be forthcoming from this firm after the Governor has acted...more

Significant Changes to Law Concerning Physical Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Anticipated to be Effective July 1, 2015

The Legislature has passed Public Act No. 15-141: An Act Concerning Seclusion and Restraint in Schools(the “Act”), which makes significant changes to the law and regulations governing physical restraint and seclusion in...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week – 6/16/15

I am just finishing up my first year as an assistant principal, and I hope that you can help me with an issue that has concerned me. Early in my tenure here, a paraprofessional asked to review the IEP for a student with whom...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

District Must Reimburse Special Education Student for Data Plan Required by Private Residential School

Those who follow the intersection between special education and technology know there is a dearth of administrative decisions and case law addressing what, if any, responsibility school districts have to provide or otherwise...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

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