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...)

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...)

Special education Law 101 – Part XVII #procedures



This is the final post in a  series of posts comprising an introduction to special education law.  This series is meant to be an introduction for newbies and a refresher course for more experienced readers. 

Today's post concerns some additional unusual procedural issues in due process hearings:
   Resolution Session
IDEA provides provides that where a parent requests a due process hearing, the school district must convene a resolution session within 15 days of receipt.  The school district may not bring their lawyer unless the parent does so. An agreement resulting from a resolution session is legally binding and enforceable in court, but either par (Read more...)

Special Education Law 101 – Part XVI Hearing Procedures 1 #SpecialEdHearing

This is another in a  series of posts comprising an introduction to special education law.  This series is meant to be an introduction for newbies and a refresher course for more experienced readers.  Please let us know what you think about the series.

Today's post and the next post concern some unusual procedural issues in due process hearings.  The due process hearing is the administrative law equivalent of a trial in a civil action.


A due process hearing resembles a court trial.  Increasingly, parties are represented by lawyers.  Opening statements are made.  Testimony is provided by parents, teachers, related service providers, administrators, and many ot (Read more...)

Special Education Law 101 – Part XV #BurdenOfPersuasion


This is another in a periodic series on the nuts and bolts of special education law.  The series is intended as an overview of key concepts for beginners and a review for those readers who have been around the block.

The citations for information about due process hearings are:IDEA, § 615(f); 34 C.F.R. § 300.507 to .515

Concerning the burden of persuasion at due process hearings...
  


Schaffer v. Weast 546 U.S. 49, 126 S.Ct. 528, 44 IDELR 150 (2005). The Court held that the burden of persuasion in an IDEA due process hearing is upon the party challenging the IEP.  The “burden of persuasion” involves which party loses if the evidence is closely balanced.&nb (Read more...)

Special Education Law 101 – Part XIV #ExpensesAttorney’sFees

This is another in our ongoing series on the basics of special education law.  These posts are meant to be an introduction for those new to the field and a refresher for the seasoned veterans.

Attorney's Fees

A prevailing parent can generally get their attorney's fees from a court. IDEA §615(i)(1)(3).  They are not awarded by hearing officers but are awarded by the court.  Since 2004, a prevailing school district may get attorney's fees from a parent or parent's attorney if the case was frivolous or filed for improper purposes. IDEA §615(i)(1)(3)(b)(ii)and(iii).

Expenses-Expert witness fees

            (Read more...)

Special Education Law 101 – Part XIII #Legal Representation

This is another post in our ongoing series on the basics of special education law.  Please let us know how you are enjoying this series.  We feel that this is a good introduction for newbies and a good refresher for seasoned pros.  

The federal regulations implementing IDEA provide that parties to due process hearings have a right to be accompanied by legal counsel and by individuals with special knowledge or training with respect to the problems of kids with disabilities "...except that whether parties have the right to be represented by non-attorneys at due process hearings is determined under State law." 34 C.F.R. §300.512.  This regulation was (Read more...)

Special Education Law 101 – Part XII #stay put


This is another post in our ongoing series on the basics of special education law.  Please let us know how you are enjoying this series.  We feel that this is a good introduction for newbies and a good refresher for seasoned pros.  

Today we talk about the stay put provision- one of the basic concepts in this area of the law, yet also one of the most misunderstood. It only applies when a due process hearing is pending.


Stay Put

              IDEA § 615 (j) provides that (except in certain discipline cases), during the pendency of any due process or court proceedings pursuant to this section, unless th (Read more...)

Special Education Law 101 – Part XI #Compensatory Education


 
This is another in our continuing series on the basics of special education law.    If the parents (or adult student) win a due process hearing, the two most common types of relief are compensatory education and reimbursement for a unilateral placement.  Today we will take a hard look at the former remedy.

Compensatory Education

Reid ex rel Reid v. District of Columbia 401 F.3d 516, 43 IDELR 32 (D.C. Cir. 3/25/05).  The D.C Circuit developed a qualitative standard for awards of compensatory education in order to place disabled students in the same position they would have occupied but for the school district’s violation of IDEA.  The (Read more...)

Special Education Law 101 – Part IX #discipline

This is the most recent post in the continuing series that is meant to be an introduction to special education law.  In today's post we will be discussing discipline of students with disabilities.  People often ask why disciplinary actions are regulated by the special education law.  The reason is that before passage of the law's predecessor, it was common for school officials to exclude children with disabilities by expelling them and giving them long suspensions. This series of abuses was reflected in the legislative history of the law.  
 
Discipline is one area that seems to cause folks to develop stomach problems (sorta like the rule against perpetu (Read more...)