OSEP Releases Preschool LRE Dear Colleague Letter

OSEPThe Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) recently released this Preschool Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) Dear Colleague Letter, which reaffirms that all young children with disabilities should have access to inclusive high-quality early childhood programs where they are provided with individualized and appropriate supports to enable them to meet high expectations. The letter covers: key statutory and regulatory requirements; preschool placement options; reporting educational environments data for preschool children with disabilities; and the use of IDEA Part B funds for preschool children with disabilities. Much of the information provided is reaffirming guidance from the (Read more...)

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New Supreme Court Special Education Decision Has Flawed Reasoning #scotus #exhaustion

Yesterday, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled in Fry v Napoleon Community Schools Docket No. 15-497, 580 U. S. ____ (2017). The decision by Justice Kagan was unanimous 8-0, although two justices issued a separate concurring decision. How about that special education, bringing people together! Yay!

I cannot believe that I am about to provide an argument below that the reasoning of the court is flawed! The facts are as follows:  The student in this case has a severe form of cerebral palsy that significantly limits her motor skills and mobility. Her parents obtained a service dog, a goldendoodle named Wonder who aids the student by retrieving dropped items, helping her balance on her walker, ope (Read more...)
Posted in administrative law, due process hearing, exhaustion of administrative remedies, FAPE, Gerl, IDEA, Legal Information, special education law, United States Supreme Court | Comments Off on New Supreme Court Special Education Decision Has Flawed Reasoning #scotus #exhaustion

U.S. Supreme Court Opinion Released: Fry vs Napoleon Community Schools

Fry vs napoleon community schoolsThe most famous goldendoodle in America was outside the Supreme Court in October 2016, accompanied by some of his service dog friends. A Michigan school district’s refusal to allow Wonder, a trained service dog, to go to school with E.F., a student who was born with cerebral palsy and who required mobility support, was the catalyst for the Supreme Court argument, in Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools. Stacy and Brent Fry, E.F.’s parents, filed a lawsuit in federal district court, arguing that the school district violated two federal civil rights laws – the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973– when they barred Wonder from E.F.’s school. The technical que (Read more...)

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House Bill to Eliminate Department of Education

Us house of representatives logo

This past week Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) introduced a bill (H.R. 899) to the U.S. House of Representatives to abolish the Federal Department of Education. The bill states that “the Department of Education shall terminate on December 31, 2018.” H.R. 899 is one sentence and has been referred to the House committee on Education and the Workforce. To date the bill has seven cosponsors: Rep. Amash (R-MI), Rep. Biggs (R-AZ), Rep. Chaffets (R-UT), Rep. Gaetz (R-FL), Rep. Hice (R-GA), Rep. Jones Jr. (R-NC) and Rep. Labrador (R-ID). Massie states that “states and local communities are best positioned to shape curricula that meet the needs of their students”. In addition Massie stated that, “It’s ti (Read more...)

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Breaking: Supreme Court Rules Exhaustion Only Required Where FAPE Is In Issue #scotus #exhaustion

The United States Supreme Court Ruled today in Fry v Napoleon Community Schools that IDEA exhaustion is required only when IDEA FAPE is at issue. This decision reverses the Sixth Circuit decision that held that a parent must exhaust IDEA remedies before pursuing a §504 action for the failure of a school district to allow a student with a disability to have a service dog.

Get this the decision was 8-0, with six justices joining Justice Kagan's majority opinion and two others concurring.

You can read the entire decision and concurrence here. More to come on this unanimous special ed decision.
Posted in §504, exhaustion of administrative remedies, FAPE, Gerl, IDEA #FAPE, Legal Information, special education law | Comments Off on Breaking: Supreme Court Rules Exhaustion Only Required Where FAPE Is In Issue #scotus #exhaustion

Senate and House Appropriations Committees and Subcommittees Finalized

Sen and House Approps logosCommittees and subcommittees for the U.S. Senate Appropriations and U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations have announced their members for 115th Congress. The committees listed below include: the Senate Committee on Appropriations, the Senate Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, the House Committee on Appropriations and the House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies. Newly appointed members are starred in the listings below (click pictures to enlarge). 

CEC looks forward to working with all members of these committees and subcommittees as we advance CEC’s public policy agenda for children w (Read more...)

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Don’t Miss out! FREE Webinar on SCOTUS Implications

GavelThere's still time to register for the FREE CEC Member webinar "How the Supreme Court May Influence Your Practice" on Wednesday, March 1, at 7pm ET. Join special education law experts Dr. Mitchell Yell and Dr. David Bateman as they discuss the case of Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, currently in front of the Supreme Court, and what this case means for FAPE, your students, and the services you provide. This webinar is a special CEC Member benefit—register now!

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Almost Famous: My Outline Quoted to U. S. Supreme Court #scotus #gerl

Part of my job involves training hearing officers, mediators, complaint investigators, lawyers and other special education staff. I really enjoy this work. Many of those who read this blog have been involved in these trainings and have seen my outlines, the written materials that I prepare for participants in these presentations.

As you know from our previous posts here, here and here, one of two special education cases pending before the U. S. Supreme Court is Fry v Napoleon Community Schools, a case involving exhaustion of administrative remedies. 

When a case is argued before the Supreme Court, various groups request leave to file friend of the court, or amicus, briefs stating their po (Read more...)
Posted in amicus brief, complete record, Gerl, Legal Information, SCOTUS, special education law, U.S. Supreme Court | Comments Off on Almost Famous: My Outline Quoted to U. S. Supreme Court #scotus #gerl

Weekly Question!

We recently ran a post asking whether special education is in danger. What do you think? #IDEA #POTUS
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Sometimes My Job Is Pretty Cool. #WhereIsJG?


Posted in #WhereIsJG, cool job, Gerl, Legal Information, special education law | Comments Off on Sometimes My Job Is Pretty Cool. #WhereIsJG?