Wrightslaw

The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
August 16, 2005


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Issue - 321
ISSN: 1538-3202

In this Issue


1. 10 Tips: How to Use IDEA 2004 to Improve Your Child's Special Education

2. IDEA - Burden of Proof: On Parents or Schools? NCD Takes a Position

4. IDEA 2004/NCLB Training in St. Clairsville/Wheeling WV, Sept. 16

5. IDEA 2004 Training in Richmond, VA, Sept 17

6. Subscription & Contact Info
 

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

Highlights: 10 Tips on how to use IDEA 2004 to improve your child's special education; IDEA Burden of Proof: On Parents or Schools? National Council on Disability takes a position; IDEA 2004 training programs in St. Clairsville OH/Wheeling, WV and Richmond, VA in September.

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!

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1. 10 Tips: How to Use IDEA 2004 to Improve Your Child's Special Education by Wayne Steedman, Esq.

As the new school year begins, parents and teachers have questions about IDEA 2004. Do you know about specific changes in IDEA 2004? How will these changes affect your child? What are your responsibilities? How can you use IDEA 2004 to advocate for your child?

In 10 Tips: How to Use IDEA 2004 to Improve Education for Children with Disabilities, parent attorney Wayne Steedman explains how IDEA 2004 created a higher standard for a free, appropriate public education and how you can use NCLB to obtain a better IEP for your child. Learn how you can include research based methodology in the IEP and ensure that the IEP goals are comprehensive, specific - and measurable.

Wayne also advises you about pitfalls to avoid - how to ensure that your child's teachers attend IEP meetings and how to avoid the infamous three-year IEP. He also offers advice about how to resolve disputes without having to resort to a due process hearing - and what you should do when you cannot resolve your dispute.

To learn how you can be a better advocate for your child - and avoid those pitfalls - read 10 Tips: How to Use IDEA 2004 to Improve Your Child's Special Education.

In PDF: Ten Tips: How to Use IDEA 2004 to Improve Your Child's Special Education is available as a printer-friendly pdf document.

IDEA 2004 at Wrightslaw will also help you find answers to your questions.


2. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Burden of Proof: On Parents or Schools?

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act does not specify whether parents or school districts have the burden of proof in special education litigation. If a parent disputes an IEP, the courts agree that it is the parent’s burden to “place in issue the appropriateness of the IEP.” The next issue is whether the parent has the burden of proving that the IEP is not appropriate or whether the school district has the burden of proving that the IEP is appropriate.

On October 5, the U. S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Schaffer v. Weast. The Court's decision may shift the balance of power between parents and schools.

On August 9, the National Council on Disability (NCD) published Individuals with Disabilities Education Act - Burden of Proof: On Parents or Schools? In this Position Paper, the NCD asserts that school districts, not parents, should have the burden of proof in issues about IEPs, placement, eligibility, and other matters related to an appropriate education.

The author of IDEA Burden of Proof is Pete Wright.

When you read IDEA Burden of Proof, you will meet Brian Schaffer, Peter Mills and Bill Dunstan, three children with disabilities whose cases were decided by different courts. You will learn the outcomes of their cases - and whether these outcomes were fair, right and just. You will also learn about competing principles and how similar cases have been resolved:

"Should the party attacking the terms of an IEP bear the burden of showing why the IEP is not appropriate? Or, should the party that prepared the IEP and has greater expertise and resources have the burden of proving that the IEP is appropriate?"

Download the pdf version of IDEA Burden of Proof: On Parents or Schools? from http://www.ncd.gov/newsroom/publications/2005/pdf/burdenofproof.pdf

Download the html version of IDEA Burden of Proof: On Parents or Schools? from
http://www.ncd.gov/newsroom/publications/2005/burdenofproof.htm

Learn more about
Schaffer v. Weast.

More special education caselaw.


3. Wrightslaw IDEA 2004 Training: St. Clairsville, OH (Sept 16) & Richmond, VA (Sept 17)

Two Wrightslaw IDEA 2004 training programs are scheduled in September.

September 16: St. Clairsville, OH / Wheeling WV

IDEA 2004 & NCLB by Wayne Steedman is a 6 hour program about key provisions of IDEA 2004 & No Child Left Behind. You will learn about new legal requirements for evaluations, parental consent and IEPs, new procedural requirements, and how to use No Child Left Behind to advocate for a child with a disability.

The registration fee includes the course book, Wrightslaw: IDEA 2004 (retail value: $14.95), continental breakfast, and lunch.
Agenda. Download & distribute conference brochure and registration form

IDEA 2004 & NCLB Training in St. Clairsville OH / Wheeling, WV - Learn about logistics, registration, CLEs and CEUs, accommodations.

September 17: Richmond, Virginia

Wrightslaw IDEA 2004 by Pete Wright is a 6 hour program about key provisions of IDEA 2004. You will learn about new legal requirements for evaluations and IEPs, eligibility, and new procedural requirements for due process hearings. You will also learn how the decision in Schaffer v. Weast may shift the balance of power in IEP meetings and due process hearings.

IDEA 2004 Training in Richmond - Learn about early bird discounts, registration & fees, the "meet and great" reception /cocktail party on September 16 (with guest of honor), accommodations, CLEs, and logistics.

Agenda l Download and distribute conference brochure

NOTE: The Richmond program is almost SOLD OUT. Attorneys from California, New Jersey, Texas have registered. If you want to attend, don't procrastinate - register today!

Register Online l Mail & Fax Registration

Wrightslaw Legal and Advocacy Training Programs

Wrightslaw Special Education Law & Advocacy Programs are designed to meet the needs of parents, educators, health care providers, advocates, and attorneys who represent children with disabilities. Our goal is provide individuals with the knowledge and skills to advocate effectively for children with disabilities. Overview.

We offer a selection of programs taught by nationally-recognized experts in the field of special education law and advocacy. Program Descriptions


6. 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