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Education Law Archives

Why the California teacher protection lawsuit matters

In late January, arguments began in a lawsuit that may affect the education of all of California’s public school students. The lawsuit was originally filed by a group called Students Matter, which is a nonprofit advocacy organization. The claim was specifically filed in Los Angels County Superior Court on behalf of nine students. However, the outcome of the suit may affect millions of students, including students with learning disabilities.

The new federal spending bill may affect your special needs child

Sequestration and a host of other issues with the federal budget have dramatically affected public education spending over the last few years. In many school districts, special education programs, the arts, sports and other opportunities have been cut in significant ways. Thankfully, the new federal spending bill will help to restore some of the funding that has been lost over the past few chaotic spending cycles.

If a teacher disrespects your special needs child

A high-profile incident has many California parents concerned for their special needs children. A California teacher was removed from her classroom last month after posting insulting words about an autistic student and the child’s parents. Specifically, the post labeled the child as a “hot mess” and the child’s parents as “crazy.” The teacher was removed from her classroom on the morning after the post went live on social media.

Illuminating policy brief on special education funding released

Parents of American public school children are quite familiar with the fact that educational budgets are being slashed in every possible way. Unfortunately, when educational spending gets cut, students and teachers tend to bear a host of negative consequences. Teachers may become burdened by pay cuts and increased workloads, while students are given less access to arts programs, sports, a broad curriculum and other opportunities. All too often, students with learning disabilities bear unique burdens when school budgets get cut.

Navigating a manifestation determination review

Sometimes, children with disabilities behave in ways that would ordinarily be labeled "bad behavior." Sometimes these children are simply acting out as children tend to do. However, disabled children often may act out in ways that are directly tied to their disabilities. As a result, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandates that if a disabled child misbehaves, a manifestation determination review (MDR) must be conducted before the child can be suspended for up to 10 days in a row.

When your special needs child is prone to wandering

The journal Pediatrics recently published a study which indicates that approximately half of all children diagnosed with autism are prone to wandering. A number of children with other special needs are inclined to do the same. This behavioral inclination may profoundly affect your child’s education if it is not addressed directly by you, your child’s educators and your attorney whenever necessary.

Ensuring that your special needs child's IEP is honored

A few weeks ago, we began a discussion about advocating for your child's special educational needs. We mentioned that special needs children are entitled to certain rights and protections under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). We also mentioned that your child's teachers should be working with you to create and maintain an individualized education program (IEP) that fits your child's special educational needs.

Advocating for your child's special educational needs

If you are the parent of a special needs child, you almost certainly understand that you are your child’s greatest advocate. You have likely been advocating for his or her special needs medically, financially and socially for some time now. But depending on your child’s unique circumstances, you may not yet have had to advocate on his or her behalf in an educational context.

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