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Graduation Day ISEA 2013!

by Wrightslaw

Congratulations Class of 2013!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Wrightslaw is live blogging from the Institute of Special Education Advocacy (ISEA) all week. We hope you will join us!

Today’s topics:

  • Legal Claims and Remedies with Bill Hurd, Esq.
  • Creating Systemic Change in Your State with Jim Comstock-Galagan

Today is the last day for class discussion and networking.

After lunch, graduation!

Presentation of certificates!

Day 1    Day 2      Day 3     Day 4       Day 5


11:04 am  Wrightslaw

Using IDEA’s State Administrative Complaint Provisions to Create Systemic Change

Jim Comstock-Galagan, Executive Director of the Southern Disability Law Center (SDLC)

Check your state DOE website for forms for due process.  You can use these forms – you don’t HAVE to use the forms. Same for state complaints. Each state has to have written state complaint procedures – for filing and resolving complaints. State complaint process is much broader than due process procedures.

Complaint copy must be sent to LEA as well.

34 CFR 300.151-153

The scope of state complaint issues.

Like Due Process hearings, State Complaints can be used to resolve any matter related to the identification,
 evaluation, or
 educational placement of a child with a disability.

  • Behavior (ED issues, discipline, suspensions, restrictive environments, lack of progress, flawed or no FBAs or BIPs, MDR)
  • Placement (LRE)
  • Involuntary removal (no paperwork available)
  • Transition services

OSEP letters and guidance indicate you can initiate systemic complaints as well a substantive (FAPE) complaints.

OSEP memo pages 15-33. Portions dealing with systemic complaints Questions B6 – 9, pages 18-20.

  • Who can file
  • Respondents
  • Timelines
  • Requirement for investigations (relevant information, additional info, mediation
  • On-site investigations
  • Decisions
  • Limitations
  • Remedies (individual corrective action, systemic corrective action, compensatory education, monetary reimbursement, future provision of services)
  • Strengthening and Proving your complaint (OCR complaints)
  • Appeals

If in due process can’t file state complaint on same issue.

Some SEA State Complaint Procedures still illegally limit complaints to procedural violations and require substantive violations to be redressed via Due Process Complaints

Southern Poverty Law Center

case docket

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9:07 am  Wrightslaw

Legal Claims and Remedies

Bill Hurd, partner in the Richmond office of Troutman Sanders who leads the firm’s Appellate Team.

IDEA requires the school system to provide:

“An opportunity for any party to present a complaint…with respect to any matter relating to the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of the child, or the provision of a free appropriate public education to such child…”

Section 1415(a)(6)(A)

Case discussions:

  • The case of the (allegedly) perjured principal.
  • The case of the prosecuted parent.
  • The case of the french fry fracas.
  • The case of the treacherous trespasser.
  • The case of the galloping guideline.

How to win cases

IDEA provides parents something quite unique in the law. The right to an individualized program and the right to contest any aspect of the school system’s treatment of a child.

  • Eligibility
  • Deficiencies in the IEP
  • Compensatory Education
  • Placement
  • Notice to the School
  • Timelines
  • Stay Put
  • Burden of Proof
  • Monetary Claims
  • Access to Records

HH v. Moffett & Chesterfield School Bd (4th 2009) – Special ed teacher and a assistant restrained child in her wheelchair for hours during the school day while they ignored her, verbally abused her, and schemed to deprive her of educational services. In an unpublished decision, the Court held that their conduct “violated H.H.’s clearly established right to freedom from undue restraint under the Fourteenth Amendment, and Appellants are therefore not entitled to qualified immunity as a matter of law.”


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1 Comment on "Graduation Day ISEA 2013!"

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08/02/2013 10:27 am

My son is 13 and has been diagnosed with autism. He is high functioning and verbal. However, we believe that he also has a vision processing disorder. He reads way below grade level, is unable to write and compute math. We requested testing 3 years ago at his reeval. The results were inconclusive. At this years reeval, he was not tested for this. instead the school tested him and claims he is ID despite the fact that he was successful in collaborative classes. We dispute their claim and placement. We have attempted to have him tested outside the school… Read more »