Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
of The Special Ed Advocate
includes guidance on IDEA 2004 and new cases about retaliation and damages
under Section 504.
Highlights: IDEA 2004 - guidance from U. S. Department of Ed; Wrightslaw: IDEA 2004 - coming soon; Section 504 protects special ed teacher from retaliation; Section 504 - child not eligible for damages in IDEA case; Wrightslaw programs in NH, IL, MI, HI; find help and helpers at Yellow Pages for Kids.
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1. IDEA 2004: Guidance from U. S. Dept of Education
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 takes effect on
July 1, 2005. Do you know how the law will affect you? Your child?
Your school, school district and state?
State and Districtwide Assessments - new requirements about accommodations; alternate assessments; new reporting requirements; information required in IEPs (2 pages)
- new standards for manifestation determinations; new authority for school
personnel; new standard for "special circumstances"; new definition
of serious bodily injury; authority of hearing officer; expedited hearings
Disproportionality and Overidentification - policies and procedures; collection and examination of data; new requirements when reviewing policies and procedures. (2 pages)
Early Intervening Services - describes activities to implement early intervening services; professional development; evaluations; scientifically based literacy instruction; reporting requirements; use of funds. (2 pages)
Highly Qualified Special Education Teachers - new definition of highly qualified special education teacher; requirements for special ed teachers who teach to alternate achievement standards and multiple subjects; related services personnel and paraprofessionals; personnel development plans. (4 pages)
Evaluations and Reevaluations - new provisions about parental consent
for children who are wards of state; new 60-day timeline for initial evaluations;
new procedures for evaluating children who may have specific learning
disabilities; new procedures for reevaluations; new evaluation requirements
before change in eligibility; new requirements about evaluating present
levels of academic achievement and developmental needs of child.
Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) - new requirements for present levels of educational performance; accommodations; assessments; changes in measurable annual goals, measuring and reporting progress; new requirements about services based on peer-reviewed research; changes in transition requirements; new requirements for children who transfer within and between states. (3 pages)
Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team Meetings and Changing the IEP - required members of IEP team; changes in IEP team member attendance; new rules about excusal from IEP meetings; new provisions about changing IEPs; consolidation of meetings; alternate ways to participate in meetings. (2 pages)
Aligning IDEA with the No Child Left Behind Act - addition of new definitions (core academic subjects, limited English proficient, highly qualified teacher); performance goals and indicators; requirements about reporting progress in educating children with disabilities to public and state; alternate achievement standards; records of migratory children; eligibility determination; personnel development plans. (3 pages)
Preschool: Age 3 to Kindergarten - Part C funds for children ages 3 to Kindergarten; expanded definition of "infants and toddlers"; new policies re: notice to parents, educational components; consent. (3 pages)
Children Enrolled By Their Parents In Private Schools - requirements about providing services to children who attend private schools; 'child find' requirements for children who attend private schools; equitable participation; new requirements about children evaluated and found eligible; new requirements for consultation between public and private school representatives; written affirmation requirements; right to complain to SEA.
Procedural Safeguards: Surrogates, Notice and Consent - new procedures for appointing surrogate parents; revised requirements about procedural safeguards notice to parents; additions to notice content, requests for due process hearings, civil actions; consent for wards of the state. (3 pages)
Procedural Safeguards: Mediation and Resolution Sessions - new mediation requirements; new requirements about meeting with a "disinterested party"; new requirements about legally binding agreements, confidentiality of discussions, enforceability of agreement; new requirements for "resolution sessions"; limitations on attorneys' fees. (2 pages)
Procedural Safeguards: Due Process Hearings - clarifies who may request a due process hearing; specifies timelines for requesting due process hearings; new prior written notice requirements and timelines; new requirements for hearing officers; new guidelines for issues raised at due process hearings; new parameters for hearing officer decisions; timelines for bringing a civil action; additional provisions for awarding attorneys fees.
Go to Changes in the IDEA 2004: Guidance from OSEP for the complete list of guidance documents. As additional publications are approved by the U. S. Department of Education, we will add them to this page.
Visit IDEA 2004 for more articles and news about IDEA-2004 .
2. Wrightslaw: IDEA 2004 - Coming Soon
We are working on a new publication. Wrightslaw: IDEA 2004 describes changes to the key statutes of IDEA 2004 by section and subsection and includes extensive commentary by Pete Wright. This publication will be available before the reauthorized law goes into effect on July 1, 2005.
Subscribers to The Special Ed Advocate newsletter will receive advance notice by email before Wrightslaw: IDEA 2004 is available to the public. Watch your email box - we'll keep you posted.
3. Section 504 Protects Special Ed Teacher from Retaliation
worked as a special education teacher at Griswald Middle School in Rocky
Hill, CT from 1998 to 2003. She advocated for her students. In March,
2003, she was told that her contract would not be renewed and she was
"allowed to resign." When she applied for other positions, she
was not hired.
4. Section 504: Child Not Eligible for Damages in IDEA Case
30, 2005, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued a new
decision about monetary damages under Section 504 in J.
S. v. Isle of Wight (VA).
The school district admitted that that they violated the IDEA, agreed to comply with "all applicable provisions of IDEA", and agreed to pay costs and attorney's fees associated with his claims under IDEA.
S. v, Isle of Wight, the Court discussed statutes of limitations -
the fact that Section 504 does not contain a statute of limitations, the
federal "borrowing" doctrine, notice of claims provision, then
tackled the issue of money damages for failure to provide FAPE.
Does this mean that damages are never available under Section 504? These decisions will help you sort these issues out:
v. Matula, U. S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Availability
of damages under Section 504, IDEA, and Section 1983 when district refused
to evaluate, classify and provide appropriate services to disabled child;
exhaustion, qualified immunity, due process (1995).
Witte v. Clark County Sch. Bd, U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit finds that damages are available in school brutality case. (1999)
v. Bd Ed. Newburgh City Sch. Dist, U. S. Court of Appeals for
the Second Circuit found that the disabled child must first exhaust administrative
remedies under IDEA before (2002).
Learn about Section 504 - frequently asked questions, articles, caselaw, free pubs.
5. Coming Up! Wrightslaw Programs in New Hampshire, Illinois, Michigan, Hawaii
Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Training Programs focus on four areas: special education laws including significant changes in IDEA 2004; how to use the bell curve to measure educational progress & regression; SMART IEPs; and advocacy tactics & strategies.
Manchester, NH: May 6-7, 2005 (Boot Camp)
IL - May 13-14, 2005 (Boot Camp)
6. Need Help? Visit the Yellow Pages for Kids
If you are looking for help - or a helper
- visit the Yellow Pages for
Kids with Disabilities. Your state Yellow
Pages has many resources - evaluators, speech language therapists,
tutors, special ed schools, advocates, attorneys, organizations, and support
Free Listings in the Yellow Pages: If you help parents get services for children (i.e., an evaluator, educational consultant, academic tutor, advocate, attorney, special ed school, etc.) or you facilitate a support or study group for parents, submit an application be listed in the Yellow Pages for Kids. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for an application. Listings in the Yellow Pages are free.
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