Special Education Law
At Life Point Law, we understand that conventional education tracks don’t work for every student. Disabilities, whether minor or major, can make these expectations detrimental to the student’s education or even make them impossible to meet. Thankfully, the Individuals with Disability Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA) ensures that schools are legally required to work with you and your student to tailor an educational experience which is tailored to your student and takes into account their disability.
Individual education programs can be an absolutely invaluable tool to enhance the education of some children. Students who may not be able to reach their full potential on a conventional academic pathway can use IEPs to tailor their education to their needs in order to help them thrive academically. To develop an IEP, parents and in some cases, the student, sit down with educators to strategize and draft a plan which conforms to the student’s needs. We can help you strategize on how to best advocate for your child and make sure that the school is complying with the regulations set forth in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA).
Due Process Hearings
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act protects IEP due process and guarantees parents the right to settle disputes with the school district. There are two different methods through which you can resolve these disputes, mediation, and a due process hearing. In mediation, a neutral third party will meet with you and a representative of the school and try and facilitate a solution which satisfies both parties. However, the decisions made by the mediator are not legally binding. If you find the results of the mediation process unsatisfactory, or if you want to skip it altogether, you can request a due process hearing. At these hearings, you and the school district will present evidence related to the issue, and call witnesses. Like a court ruling, the decisions handed down in these hearings are legally binding. However, if you are unsatisfied with the result of these hearings, you are able to take your case to either state or federal appeals courts.
Disputes usually arise from elements of your student’s IEP which can not be agreed upon between you and the school. If a law has been violated by the school district in regards to the IEP process (failure to hold an IEP meeting, conduct an evaluation, meet a time limit, or implement the IEP), you must file a complaint through your district’s complaint procedure. The disputes that arise between parents and school districts regarding IEPs are usually centered around a suspension or expulsion of a student, changes to a student’s IEP, the methods used to assess the student, your child’s eligibility, your child’s evaluation, your child’s placement, and related services like specialists and aids.
Life Point Law’s special education attorneys can provide you with a number of services including advice and strategy on how to engage with your child’s school in matters involving their IEP, as well as representation and counsel in mediation and due process hearings. If the result of a due process hearing is unsatisfactory to you, our special education and appellate attorneys can also offer legal representation in state and federal appeals courts.