Wrightslaw

The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
June 13, 2005


Home  
Issue - 313
ISSN: 1538-3202

In this Issue


1. From the Editor: News & Updates

2. Why Reading Teachers Can't Teach Reading (and What They Can Do About It)

3. Proposed IDEA 2004 Regs Available Now!

4. IDEA 2004 at Wrightslaw

5. Update: Schaffer v. Weast

6. Decisions in Special Ed Cases by Supreme Court

7. Wrightslaw Coming to Hawai'i (July 2005)

8. Subscription & Contact Info
 

Subscribe
Your Email:

Check Email for spelling
Your Name & Zipcode:

At Wrightslaw, our goals are to help you gain the information and skills you need to navigate the changing world of special education.

Highlights: From the editor - news and updates; why reading teachers can't teach children to read (and what they can do about it); proposed IDEA 2004 regulations reformatted, available from Wrightslaw; IDEA 2004 at Wrightslaw; update on Schaffer v. Weast (and a favor); decisions in special ed cases by U. S. Supreme Court; Wrightslaw coming to Hawai'i.

The Special Ed Advocate newsletter is free - please forward this issue or the subscription link to your friends and colleagues so they can learn about special education law and advocacy too. We appreciate your help!
Download this issue
. All newsletters published in 2005


1. From the Editor: News & Updates

We want to tell you about two important events. Late Friday afternoon, the U. S. Department of Education published the proposed IDEA 2004 regulations. The regulations have been reformatted and are now available from Wrightslaw. (See Proposed IDEA 2004 Regulations)

Breaking News! We understand that the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (Regs) will be published in the Federal Register on June 21, 2005. The 75-day public comment period will begin on that date. (06/13/05)

In Schaffer v. Weast (the "burden of proof" case that will be heard by the U. S. Supreme Court in the fall), amicus briefs on behalf of the parents were filed in late April. Amicus briefs on behalf of the school district will be filed in late June. We have a favor to ask. (See Update: Schaffer v. Weast)


2. Why Reading Teachers Can't Teach Children to Read (and What They Can Do About It)

I am a remedial reading teacher in a public school. Each remedial reading teacher has 50-60 students. This year, I was given 10 special education students (in addition to the 50 students I already have).

It is virtually impossible to meet the needs of all these children. I want to help these children but there is just so much that one person can do.

In Why Remedial Reading Teachers Can't Teach Children to Read (and What They Can Do About It), Sue Heath responds to this teacher's questions and concerns. She explains why many of the teacher's students will fail (despite her best efforts), strategies to fix the problem, who is responsible for fixing the problem, and what will happen if people do not take action.

Sue Heath writes about reading, No Child Left Behind, and creative advocacy strategies in her column, Doing Your Homework, which appears in The Special Ed Advocate and on Wrightslaw.com.

Learn about research based instruction.


3. Proposed IDEA 2004 Regulations

Last Friday afternoon, the Department of Education published the proposed IDEA 2004 regulations on their website. (Dept of Ed Issues Proposed IDEA 2004 Regulations)

The original publication issued by the U. S. Department of Education, in advance of the official release and publication in the Federal Register, included a discussion and explanation about the proposed changes, in addition to the proposed regulations. When the proposed regulations are published in the Federal Register, the 75-day public comment period will begin.

When we downloaded the proposed regulations, we discovered that they were 652 pages long (double-spaced, Courier, 12 points) and very difficult to read.

To make the regulations more accessible, we reformatted the original document into two shorter files:

Proposed IDEA 2004 Regulations (97 pages in pdf) contains the Department of Education's proposed changes to the IDEA regulations. The first four-and-a-half pages of this document are a list or Table of Contents of the proposed regulations, by section number.
URL: http://www.wrightslaw.com/idea/law/idea.regs.propose.pdf

Explanations and Commentary for IDEA 2004 Regulations
(65 pages in pdf) includes the Dept of Ed's comments and explanations about their rationale for specific changes; information about how to submit a comment (i.e., issues, deadlines, addresses, how to to send, etc.) is on pages 1 and 2.
URL: http://www.wrightslaw.com/idea/law/idea.regs.explain.pdf

We think this refomatting will make the regulations more useful, and easier to read and study. These two publications are also less cumbersome, less intimidating, and less expensive to print.

Note: If you cannot open these files, go to www.adobe.com and download the newest version of Adobe Reader software onto your computer (it's free).

Breaking News! We understand that the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (Regs) will be published in the Federal Register on June 21, 2005. The 75-day public comment period will begin on that date.


4. IDEA 2004 at Wrightslaw

Parents, advocates, educators, and attorneys need accurate, reliable information about IDEA 2004 issues: child find, eligibility, evaluations, reevaluations, high stakes testing, IEPs, accommodations, alternate assessments, educational placements, transition, parental rights, and more.

IDEA 2004 at Wrightslaw will help you find answers to your questions and do your own legal research. We are continuing to add new articles and resources. IDEA 2004 at Wrightslaw is organized as follows:



5. Update: Schaffer v. Weast

Schaffer v. Weast is the the "burden of proof" case that will be heard by the U. S. Supreme Court in the fall. By late April, more than 20 organizations and nine states had filed a amicus briefs in support of parents of children with disabilities.

Nine States Support Parents

A group of nine States headed by Virginia filed an amicus brief supporting the parents, arguing that the burden of proof should be placed on the school district. These states joined Virginia in the brief: Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Nevada, Rhode Island, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Hawai'i

Hawai'i is drafting a brief in support of Weast (school district). Hawaii is unusual because it is the only state that does not have local school districts (the state functions as a school district). Thus, Hawaii is an interested party in IDEA cases, not an insurer of fairness.

If You Live in Other States . . . A Favor Please

If you live in other states, we have a favor to ask. Please contact your state Attorney General and ask him/her not to sign the amicus brief authored by Hawai'i that opposes the interests of parents of children with disabilities. (List of all Attorney Generals)

Amicus briefs on behalf of the school district will be filed in late June.


6. Decisions by U. S. Supreme Court

The U. S. Supreme Court's most significant special education cases are:

Board of Ed. of Hendrick Hudson Central School Dist. v. Rowley 458 U.S. 176 (1982). First decision in a special education case by the U. S. Supreme Court; defined "free appropriate public education.

Burlington Sch. Committee v. Mass. Bd. of Ed., 471 U. S. 359 (1985). Decision clarifies procedural safeguards, parent role in educational decision-making; tuition reimbursement for private placement; child's placement during dispute about FAPE.

Honig v. Doe, 484 U.S. 305 (1988). Strong decision in school discipline case on behalf of emotionally disturbed children who had academic and social problems. Court clarified procedural issues designed to protect children from school officials, parent role, stay put, that schools shall not expel children for behaviors related to their handicaps.

Florence Co. Sch Dist Four v. Shannon Carter, 510 U.S. 7, (1993). Landmark decision issued in 34 days by a unanimous 9-0 Court . If the public school defaults and the child receives an appropriate education in the private placement, the parents are entitled to reimbursement for the child's education. This ruling opened the door to children with autism who receive ABA / Lovaas therapy.  Links to all decisions, transcript of oral argument in Carter

Cedar Rapids v. Garret F. (1999)   Case about child who needed related services to attend school; favorable decision for Garret. Analysis

Note: The law was originally the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 (Public Law 94-142). When the law was reauthorized in 1990, it was renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Subsequent reauthorizations are known as IDEA 97 and IDEA 2004.

More Special Ed Caselaw


7. Wrightslaw Comes to Hawai'i (July 29-31, 2005)

Pete and Pam Wright are coming to Hilo Hawaii July for two events.

Hilo, HI - July 29, 2005 - LDA Conference (Keynote Speakers & Presenters)

Hilo, HI - July 30-31, 2005 - Boot Camp

Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy 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.

Schedule l Programs l Speakers l FAQs


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.

Law Library Seminars & Training
Advocacy Yellow Pages for Kids
No Child Left Behind Free Newsletter
IDEA 2004 Newsletter Archives

Contact Info
Pete and Pam Wright
Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043
Website: http://www.wrightslaw.com
Email: newsletter@wrightslaw.com


Yellow pages image