News & Analysis as of

Special Education

The Aftermath: Developments From The 2017 Regular Session of The Connecticut General Assembly Affecting Schools

The 2017 Regular Session of the Connecticut General Assembly concluded at midnight, June 7, 2017, without accomplishing its most important task (passing a budget). As such, the General Assembly will eventually have to convene...more

Special Education Tip – Let Me Speak My Mind – 53-2017

by Pessin Katz Law, P.A. on

Let Me Speak My Mind - If you have a student who requires Assistive Technology (“AT”) (low tech or high tech) to communicate, now is the time to plan staff training in the use of the AT. The AT training should be conducted...more

Special Education Tip – I Want My Child to Be Like Everyone Else – 52-2017

by Pessin Katz Law, P.A. on

I Want My Child to Be Like Everyone Else - You hear it a lot at IEP and 504 meetings: parents who do not want special transportation, pull-out instruction, or supplementary aids and services because they do not want their...more

Special Education Tip – The UniServ Representative is Not a Member of the IEP Team – 51-2017

by Pessin Katz Law, P.A. on

The UniServ Representative is Not a Member of the IEP Team - IEP meetings are meant to be collaborative sessions between educators and parents. But sometimes things do not go well. When an educator feels bullied,...more

Special Education Tip – The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming!!! – 50-2017

by Pessin Katz Law, P.A. on

The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming!!! We hear a lot in the news about Russian espionage in connection with national affairs. Of equal interest for readers of Tips is espionage during IEP team meetings. Not...more

CHRO – A New Horizon For Students With Disabilities?

As my colleague Rachel Ginsburg aptly foretold, Connecticut’s Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities [“CHRO”] has indicated an interest in involving itself with discrimination claims concerning the schools. A recent...more

Special Education TIP – 5-Day Rule: MSDE Provides a New Interpretation – 49-2017

by Pessin Katz Law, P.A. on

5-Day Rule: MSDE Provides a New Interpretation - Section 8-405 of the Education Article provides that except when there are extenuating circumstances, at least 5 business days before an IEP team meeting, the school...more

Special Education Tip – Say It Ain’t True – 49-2017

by Pessin Katz Law, P.A. on

Do you have relatives or friends who have favorite stories they tell over and over, embellishing the stories over the years until the stories barely resemble the originals? You smile and nod as they do this, as you are...more

Special Education Tip – Missing in Action-Violation of the Compulsory Attendance Law – 48-2017

by Pessin Katz Law, P.A. on

Missing in Action-Violation of the Compulsory Attendance Law - Maryland has a compulsory attendance law, found at Section 7-301 of the Education Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland. Every Maryland school system has...more

Special Education Tip – Private Psychological or Medical Reports – 47-2017

by Pessin Katz Law, P.A. on

When You Receive the Private Psychological or Medical Reports, What Should You Be Asking? The private psychological and medical reports regularly show up in IEP team meetings, filled with inaccurate authoritative...more

Avoid Delays in Responding to Behavioral Concerns in Education

by Barley Snyder on

A recent federal court decision serves as an important reminder to local education agencies (LEAs) about flexibility and the need to deviate from customary practice when students exhibit significant behavioral issues....more

Latest Developments from the Connecticut General Assembly: The Education Committee Has Spoken - May 2017

We had written earlier about the proposed bills that the General Assembly’s Education Committee voted favorably on and advanced out of committee at its March 8, 2017 meeting. The Committee subsequently voted favorably on a...more

Special Education Tip - Requests to Amend Student Records-Requests Your Mother Would Never Make - 45-2017

by Pessin Katz Law, P.A. on

The helicopter parenting continues. Schools are encountering more instances of parents trying to change their children’s grades and other records. A recent decision of the Family Policy Compliance Office (known since January...more

Special Education Tip - No Good Deed Goes Unpunished - 46-2017

by Pessin Katz Law, P.A. on

School staff oftentimes find themselves in a quandary when they overlook student misbehaviors as the misbehaviors are the result of the disability. Eventually, there comes a time when it becomes evident that no matter how...more

Special Education Tip - What Do You Do with the Private Assessment Report? - 44-2017

by Pessin Katz Law, P.A. on

What Do You Do with the Private Assessment Report? Whenever you receive a private assessment, it must be reviewed, discussed, and considered by the IEP or 504 team. As soon as you receive it, write the date of receipt on...more

Special Education Tip - There is a Light at the End of the Tunnel - 43-2017

by Pessin Katz Law, P.A. on

There is a Light at the End of the Tunnel and It Ain’t No Train - Some good news. The NSBA Council of School Attorneys (“COSA”) met last week in Denver, Colorado. One of the speakers was former COSA Chair Tom Wheeler,...more

Special Education Tip – Data Data Data – 41-2017

by Pessin Katz Law, P.A. on

Education is data driven. No area is more data driven than special education. Principals, Assistant Principals, and Supervisors: Make sure you are doing the following...more

High Court Says Girl with Special Needs Can Sue Over School's Refusal to Allow Service Dog

The family of a girl with cerebral palsy may sue her former school district for refusing to allow her service dog as a companion in school, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled. The Michigan case revolved around whether the...more

Supreme Court’s Evolving Approach to Special Education

In Endrew F., et al. v. Douglas County School District (No. 15-827), the Supreme Court of the United States expanded on its long-standing interpretation of the substantive right to a “free appropriate public education” (known...more

U.S. Supreme Court Decides Special Education Case

On March 22, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision regarding a matter of significant concern to school districts. In the case of Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District RE-1, the Supreme Court held...more

The Importance of Being Specific

by Barley Snyder on

When you’re designing an individual education program (IEP), you better be specific. That’s the message from a recent federal court case outside of Philadelphia which said that Norristown School District’s IEP for a...more

New Standard for FAPE - Program Must Allow Child to Make Progress “Appropriate in Light of Child’s Circumstances”

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

The decades-old standard for what constitutes a free appropriate public education for students with disabilities was changed in an opinion issued this week by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court created a new standard in Endrew...more

Supreme Court Increases School Standards For Students With Disabilities

by Fisher Phillips on

IEPs Must Meet “Markedly More Demanding” Standard From Now On This week, in a unanimous decision crafted by Chief Justice John Roberts, the Supreme Court decided that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act...more

Special Education Tip – Updating the IEP – 40-2017

by Pessin Katz Law, P.A. on

When you hold an annual review, do not skip pages in the IEP. For instance, the Parental Input section should be different from year to year. It may be the same message, but at least change the wording....more

US Supreme Court Determines Scope of the Administrative Exhaustion Requirement Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education...

In Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools, No. 15-497, 2017 WL 685533 (U.S. Feb. 22, 2017), the United States Supreme Court held that administrative exhaustion under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act was unnecessary...more

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