Special Education Law 101 – Part I #IDEA #specialeducationlaw

Special education law is complicated stuff.  I have said here before that Special Ed Law is a lot closer to metaphysics than it is to contract law.   If you hate ambiguity, Special Ed Law may not be your thing. (I still believe that there is a Jeff Foxworthy joke in there somewhere.)

Any way, inspired by a presentation that I gave at a national conference of the Council for Exceptional Children, we periodically run a series of posts on the nuts and bolts of special education law. The series is a good refresher for veterans and a solid introduction for folks new to special education law.  So are you ready for special ed law 101?

So please fasten your seat belt (Read more...)

Join us! CEC’s Policy and Advocacy Team Heads to CEC’s Annual Convention and Expo with a Packed Agenda!

Cropped-CEC2017_horizontalWe hope you will be joining us and thousands of special educators in Boston, Massachusetts for CEC’s Annual Convention and Expo! CEC’s Convention will provide us all with an opportunity to reflect on special education and how we can continue to advance the profession and support better outcomes for children and youth with disabilities and gifts and talents. This year’s convention will offer over 500 sessions, workshops, town halls and more, featuring the most pressing issues in the field, as well as speakers and celebrations you won’t want to miss!

CEC’s Policy and Advocacy team and U.S. Department of Education Officials will bring you the hot policy topics, from budget to high leverage pra (Read more...)

Endrew F and The Metaphysics of Special Education Law #metaphysics #Hegel #Paul Simon

We have gotten a robust reaction to the post a while back concerning who won Endrew F? It seems that each side (parents and school officials) still thinks that they won. Why is that?

First, we should probably take a look at special education law.  We have long said here that special education law is closer to metaphysics than it is to contract law. Contract law, and other types of old law, have "hornbook" rules that have been settled for ages. Old lawyers can apply those settled rules to a fact pattern and predict an outcome with reasonable certainty. (Although as one very senior attorney once told me, "anybody who says they know what a jury will do is lying.")

Special ed law, though (Read more...)

World Autism Day – CEC Celebrates Autonomy and Self-Determination

Niagara falls blueIn conjunction with World Autism Day earlier this month many recognizable locations went blue including Niagara Falls, the Empire State Building, the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt and the White House. The White House participated in “Light It Up Blue” by displaying blue lights on the exterior walls of the White House. President Trump stated “My administration is committed to promoting greater knowledge of ASDs and encouraging innovation that will lead to new treatments and cures for autism." Trump’s comments in reference to curing autism noticeably upset self-advocates and the disability community in general, including the Council for Exceptional Children, due to his focus on a cure a (Read more...)

Budget Deadline Looming! Tell Congress to Invest in Education!

CapitolFederal investments in special education and early intervention are critical for future economic growth, yet for several years programs have been the targets of deep cuts.

Government funding expires on April 28, 2017. At the end of December 2016, Congress passed a continuing resolution (CR) that would fund the federal government until April 28, 2017. The CR froze most government funding, including education, at 2016 levels with a 0.19% across the board cut to all programs. Congress is currently on spring recess for two weeks and will return the week of April 24 when both the House and Senate must pass a spending bill for the remaining months of fiscal year 2017, or risk a government shutdo (Read more...)

SCOTUS Rules for a More Demanding Standard

SCOTUS sealThe U.S. Supreme Court recently issued a unanimous opinion in the case, Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, ruling in favor of the parents of a Colorado student with autism who indicated that the district did not meet the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) thereby, denying him a free appropriate public education (FAPE). Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. who wrote the opinion said, “when all is said and done, a student offered an educational program providing ‘merely more than de minimis progress from year to year can hardly be said to have been offered an education at all.” For more detailed coverage of the case see CEC’s Policy Insider.

The oral (Read more...)

Back to the Future: Special Education Law 101 #SpEdLaw101 #disability

We periodically run a series here that is an introduction to special education law. Now seems like a good time to run an updated version of the series. So starting next week we will run the series.

We realize that many of you are new to the field, and we hope that this series will be very useful to you. We also realize that many of you have been in this field a long time, and we hope that this series is a useful refresher for you.

There are a lot of concepts and a bucket full of acronyms, but we find that it helps us ti keep sharp by periodically reviewing the basics. As the series progresses, please let us know what you think of it. Did we cover all important topics.  Did we explain the (Read more...)