SPECIAL EDUCATION:
Pro Bono Representation at IEP
Meetings
Equip for Equality
Special Education: What You Need to Know
Why do parents need attorneys to
represent them on special ed matters?


Federal law is complicated
Districts often violate the law and have
attorneys to protect them
2
Special Education: What You Need to Know
Special Education: Who Needs It?

Does a student have difficulty in school?

Does a student need tools or services to
understand materials or teachers in school?

Does a student need help to get into the
school or use school equipment?

Does the school staff understand
students’ needs?
3
Special Education: What You Need to Know
Special Education Laws

Individuals with Disabilities Education
Improvement Act 2004 (IDEA)

Section 504

No Child Left Behind (NCLB)

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
Act(FERPA)

State Laws and Regulations
4
Special Education: What You Need to Know
Special Education Laws
Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement
Act 2004 (IDEA)

20 USC 1400 purpose

1401 definitions

1412 child find, LRE,FAPE

1414 evaluations, consent, eligibility, IEP, Placement

1415 Procedural Safeguards
5
Special Education: What You Need to Know
Purpose of Special Education
Purpose
To ensure that all children with disabilities
have available to them a free
appropriate public education that
emphasizes special education and
related services designed to meet their
unique needs and prepare them for
further education, employment, and
independent living
6
Special Education: What You Need to Know
How long does a student receive
special education?

A student receives special education until the
day before his/her 22nd birthday in Illinois.
7
Special Education: What You Need to Know
FREE APPROPRIATE PUBLIC
EDUCATION
FAPE
SPECIAL EDUCATION DEFINED
Specially
designed instruction, at no cost to
parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with
a disability,…
8
Special Education: What You Need to Know
Least Restrictive Environment
(LRE)
20 USC 1412(a)(5)
To the MAXIMUM extent appropriate children with
disabilities… are educated with children who are
not disabled.
Removal
 nature
and severity of the disability of a child is
such that education in regular classes
– with the use of supplementary aids and
services
– CANNOT be achieved satisfactorily.
9
Special Education: What You Need to Know
Special Education Services
1. Request

Written Request by Parent, State agency, or
school may initiate request for initial case
study evaluation
–
–
Sample letters available
Keep a copy with date and time it was delivered
and to whom it was delivered
10
Special Education: What You Need to Know
Special Education Services
2. Consent


Parent can include consent in request letter or
School must provide parent consent form
within 14 days of request
11
Special Education: What You Need to Know
Special Education Services
2. Consent
for Case Study Evaluations

Parental Consent not referral, starts the Case
Study Evaluation (CSE) timeline, which must
be done within 60 CALENDAR days (IDEA) –
a different timeline may be set by the state. (IL
Admin Code: 60 SCHOOL days from Consent)
12
Special Education: What You Need to Know
Special Education Services
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Request
Consent
Case Study Evaluation (CSE)
Eligibility Meeting –MDC
Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting
13
Special Education: What You Need to Know
Special Education Services
3. Case Study Evaluation
 Variety of assessment tools must be used
 Testing must be done in the “language and form
most likely to yield accurate information on what
the child knows and can do academically,
developmentally, and functionally.”
14
Special Education: What You Need to Know
Special Education Services
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Request
Consent
Case Study Evaluation (CSE)
Eligibility Meeting –MDC
Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting
15
Special Education: What You Need to Know
Special Education Services
4.
Eligibility Meeting –Multidisciplinary Conference
Team of qualified professionals and parents decide
Whether child is a child with a disability (1401)(3)
1. Disability – mental retardation, hearing impairment, speech or
language impairments, visual impairments, serious emotional
disturbance (emotional disturbance), orthopedic impairments,
autism, traumatic brain injury, other health impairments (OHI), or
specific learning disabilities (LD or SLD): AND
2. who, by reason thereof, needs special education and related
services
16
Special Education: What You Need to Know
Special Education Services
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Request
Consent
Case Study Evaluation (CSE)
Eligibility Meeting –MDC
Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting
17
Special Education: What You Need to Know
What is an IEP?



Legally binding
Like a contract
Every special ed student has one
18
Special Education: What You Need to Know
SPECIAL EDUCATION RULE
IF IT’S NOT WRITTEN DOWN
IT DIDN’T OR WON’T
HAPPEN
19
Special Education: What You Need to Know
Special Education Services
5. Individual Education Program (IEP) meeting

IEP meeting held at least annually

IEP TEAM
–
–
–
–
Parents
Not less than ONE regular ed teacher (if child IS or may be
participating in regular education)
Not less than ONE special ed teacher, or where
appropriate…special education provider of such child
Representative of Local Education Agency (LEA)
20
Special Education: What You Need to Know
Special Education Services
5. Individual Education Program (IEP)
meeting
 IEP TEAM Continued..
–
–
–
An individual who can interpret the instructional
implication of evaluation results
Other individuals who have “knowledge or special
expertise regarding the child, including related
services personnel as appropriate: and
whenever appropriate, the child with a disability
21
Special Education: What You Need to Know
IEP Meeting



Case manager will run the meeting
Informal meeting
Sit around conference table at school
22
Special Education: What You Need to Know
What’s in an IEP?








Present Levels of Performance
Goals & Objectives/Benchmarks
Progress Reports
Special Education Services
Related Services
Supplementary Aids and Services
Special factors
Transition Services (IL 14 ½ and up) – IDEA 16
23
Special Education: What You Need to Know
Present Levels of Performance
(PLOP)

A Statement of the child’s academic
achievement and functional performance –
Present Level of Performance “PLOP”
24
Special Education: What You Need to Know
IEP Goals

A statement of measurable annual goals including
academic and functional goals designed to
–
–
–
Meet the child’s needs that result from the child’s disability to
enable the child to be involved in and make progress in the
general education curriculum; and
Meet each of the child’s other educational needs that result
from the child’s disability
SMART goals – specific, measurable, action-oriented,
realistic, and time-sensitive
25
Special Education: What You Need to Know
Progress Reports


The parents need to know about their child’s
progress
The IEP should specify how the parents will be
notified of their child’s progress
26
Special Education: What You Need to Know
Special Education and Related
Services


IEP includes information about types of
services a student receives
Examples of related services –
–
–
–
–
OT
PT
Speech therapy
Social work
27
Special Education: What You Need to Know
Supplementary Aides and
Services


This may be some type of accommodation the
student needs
Can include staff training
28
Special Education: What You Need to Know
What’s in the rest of the IEP?

See sample CPS IEP.
29
Special Education: What You Need to Know
Reevaluation - every 3 years


Meet to discuss what information the school
already has and what information is still
needed
reevaluation every 3 years UNLESS parent
and school agree it is unnecessary
30
Special Education: What You Need to Know
What do I do if I am representing a student
at an IEP meeting?

You will receive an email from within Winston
& Strawn about pro bono opportunities.

Respond to that email, indicating your interest
in taking the case.
31
Special Education: What You Need to Know
What do I do if I am representing a student
at an IEP meeting?

Inform EFE that you are interested in the
case.

We will give you the necessary information so
you can perform a conflicts check.

Obtain the necessary supervision within
Winston & Strawn
32
Special Education: What You Need to Know
What do I do if I am representing a student
at an IEP meeting?

If you are able to take the case, inform EFE.
Olga Pribyl will inform you which EFE attorney
will be your backup on the case.

Arrange a time to meet with the EFE attorney
to get the file and ask any initial questions you
may have.
33
Special Education: What You Need to Know
What do I do if I am representing a student
at an IEP meeting?
•
•
Review the file. Brainstorm about arguments
in your favor, and arguments that are in the
District’s favor.
Call EFE with any questions you may have.
34
Special Education: What You Need to Know
Meet with the Parent and Child
•
In the initial meeting, the parent and child
will sign the retainer and you will discuss
the family’s goals for the representation
and what avenue you think you should try
to achieve those goals (I.e. IEP meeting,
due process request, etc.)
35
Special Education: What You Need to Know
IEP Meeting

Once you and the parent have determined the
goals of the representation and you have
determined the arguments you are going to
make to accomplish those goals, draft a letter
to the District explaining your request for an
IEP meeting and your arguments for what the
student needs in order to make meaningful
educational benefit
36
Special Education: What You Need to Know
IEP Meeting
Send the letter to the District Superintendent
and school principal (or if there is a lawyer on the
case, then to the lawyer)
•
37
Special Education: What You Need to Know
IEP Meeting
•If
CPS case, send letter to:
Luis Rodriguez
Director of Due Process & Mediation, CPS
125 S. Clark St, 8th Floor
Chicago, IL 60603
•CPS
fax: (773) 553-1906
•Also
suggest cc’ing the school principal on the letter
38
Special Education: What You Need to Know
IEP Meeting
•
•
Backup person at EFE will be happy to read
a draft of the letter before you send it.
Be aware that Luis Rodriguez is not good at
returning phone calls or emails, once you
send him the letter. You will have to follow
up with him often to get him to return your
messages. His phone number is (773) 5533817 and his email is
[email protected]
39
Special Education: What You Need to Know
How should you prepare for an
IEP meeting?



Have a detailed conversation with the parent
and student prior to the meeting.
Know strengths/weaknesses of your
arguments as to why the student needs what
the parent and student are asking for.
Shadow an EFE attorney at an IEP meeting
prior to your meeting, if you would like.
40
Special Education: What You Need to Know
What should you expect at the
IEP meeting?
•
You may have been provided with a copy of
any evaluations done, and if so, you should
review those ahead of time and speak with
the parent about those. If you did not get
those ahead of time, arrive at the meeting
early, ask for the evaluations, and ask for a
private room to review the evaluations and
discuss them with the parent.
41
Special Education: What You Need to Know
What should you expect at the
IEP meeting?
•
If the attorney is willing to talk with you before
the meeting (either the day of the meeting or
prior to that day) about the District’s position on
the case, try and find out what the District is
willing to do with the case. If the District is
going to agree with what you want, you will not
have to do as much at the meeting.
42
Special Education: What You Need to Know
What should you expect at the
IEP meeting?
•
•
•
The IEP should be completed at the meeting.
Occasionally, one part will not be completed and you will
have to receive that part at a later date. I always ask for
a draft copy of the IEP before leaving, even if the IEP is
not completed.
If the IEP is completed, do not leave the meeting without
a copy for yourself and the parent!
If you disagree with anything at the meeting, inform the
IEP team that you will be writing a dissent on behalf of
the parent and make sure that it is noted on the IEP that
you will be writing a dissent (at CPS, this is noted on the
lower right hand corner of page 1).
43
Special Education: What You Need to Know
What should you expect at the
IEP meeting?

There will always be an EFE backup person
available for you to call during the meeting if
necessary.
44
Special Education: What You Need to Know
What should you expect at the
IEP meeting?
•
After the meeting, you can take your time to
write the dissent. I try to provide the dissent
to the opposing counsel within a week’s time
of the meeting. You can fax/email the EFE
backup a copy of the IEP if you would like
advice on writing a dissent.
45
Special Education: What You Need to Know
What should you expect at the
IEP meeting?
•
If the meeting was not successful, speak with
the parent about what steps you think should
be taken (if any)
46
Special Education: What You Need to Know
What If You Don’t Agree?
CONFLICT RESOLUTION OPTIONS






1. DOCUMENTATION
2. INDEPENDENT EDUCATIONAL
EVALUATION
3. REQUEST AN IEP MEETING
4. STATE COMPLAINT
5. MEDIATION
6. DUE PROCESS
47
Special Education: What You Need to Know
Questions????
48
Descargar

Americans with Disabilities Act