Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
Wrightslaw, our goals are to help you gain the information and skills
you need to navigate the confusing world of special education. This
issue is IDEA reauthorization and advocacy.
Reauthorization - status report & homework assignment; how to
avoid the high school exit exam; great deals & free shipping
in our Spring into Summer Sale; Supreme Court upholds employment
law protections for parents of disabled and sick children; how
to disagree with the IEP team without starting WW III; how to put
on a special ed case by Sonja Kerr.
We continue to receive questions from readers about H.B. 1350 to reauthorize the IDEA. On April 30, 2003, the House of Representatives voted 251-171 to approve H. R. 1350, the Republican bill to reauthorize the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
the next couple of weeks, the Senate will introduce a bipartisan
bill to reauthorize the IDEA. After hearings and amendments,
the Senate will vote on this bill. If the Senate passes their
IDEA, they will meet with members of the House of Representatives
and attempt to reconcile the differences between the two versions
of the IDEA.
converted this article into a pdf file for easier printing
and distribution. As you read it, think about how these issues
will affect your child or children you know.
2. IDEA Reauthorization News, Issues & Alerts
IDEA Reports & Recommendations has reports and surveys about the strengths and weaknesses of the IDEA and how the law should be changed: http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/idea2002.resources.htm
Alerts & Newsletters
IDEA Rapid Response Network. The Disabilities Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) launched the IDEA Rapid Response Network. To receive information about reauthorization and/or participate in the Network, send an email to preserveIDEA@dredf.org Include your name, contact information (postal address, telephone number, and email). More information about the IDEA Rapid Response Network is available on the DREDF site.
Get news about federal legislation that may affect your
child; learn what you can do to get involved. To subscribe,
go to http://www.capwiz.com/ld/home/
and click ACTION E-LIST
3. Exit Exams Can Be Optional - If You Plan Ahead
spring, thousands of high school students will not graduate with
a high school diploma. These students took the required courses
and received passing grades.
students will not graduate from high school because they did not
pass their state's exit exam. These students
spent at least twelve years in school. Obviously, they learned
something - they have the credits and the grades to prove it.
Research editor Sue Heath describes a winning strategy to eliminate the state exit exam as an obstacle so otherwise qualified kids can graduate with real high school diplomas.
4 . Supreme Court Upholds Employment Law Protections for Parents of Disabled & Ill Children
Tuesday, May 27, the Supreme Court rules that state workers can
sue their employers for violations of the Family and Medical Leave
Act, the federal law that grants time off to deal with family
"The law permits mothers and fathers to take unpaid leaves of absences from work - with the promise of having jobs to come back to. With FMLA, parents can take time off from work when their children are hospitalized or are confronted with 'serious health conditions' requiring routine appointments with medical doctors, mental health counselors, physical therapists, speech therapists and other professionals."
Attorney Spolter describes qualifying conditions, leave, protections,
advanced notice, wages and benefits, awards and damages under
FMLA. He also provides a useful FMLA
Leave Checklist and advice about finding an attorney
in your area.
5. Great Deals & Free Shipping in Our Spring Into Summer Sale - May 28 - June 20, 2003
We are cutting inventory as we prepare to launch our new book, Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind this summer.
Learn about the good deals, great deals and super deals in our Spring Into Summer Sale: http://www.wrightslaw.com/nltr/03/al.0528.htm
Save $5.00, $10.00 - up to $24.95 on Wrightslaw books - and get free shipping.
6. How to Disagree with the IEP Team Without Starting WW III
answers questions about IEPs and teaches you how to disagree with
the IEP team without starting World War III. Learn about the Rules
of Adverse Assumptions, how to use tape recording and thank you
letters to clarify issues, and how to deal with an IEP team bully.
7. How to Put on a Special Education Case by Sonja Kerr, Esq.
Parent attorney Sonja Kerr has good advice for the attorney who is preparing for a due process hearing. Learn why you should not fly solo. Remember whose job it is to educate. This article includes tips about building the "perfect case."
8. Subscription & Contact Info
The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education legal and advocacy issues, cases, and tactics and strategies. Subscribers receive "alerts" about new cases, events, and special offers on Wrightslaw books.