Call to Action! Down to the Wire
on Special Ed Regulations in VA

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December 1, 2008

ISSN: 1538-3202

In This Issue:

Alert! Call to Action

Call or Write Governor Kaine Directly

Governor Kaine's Contact Information

What are Parents Asking For?

How Will the Special Ed Regulations Harm Children?


Wrightslaw Way Blog

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The Wrightslaw Way Blog


ATTN! VA Parents
& Advocates


VBOE Adopts Final Special Ed Regulations

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What Happens Next on Special Ed Regs?

Read More about the Revision Process


Advocacy Training on CD-ROM

Special Education Law and Advocacy training on CD-ROM

Special Education Law & Advocacy Training includes all the content of the live program  ... and more than an hour of bonus content. The content is divided into four segment: two about law; two about advocacy strategies. Each program includes several topics.

Click here for more about the program.

Get Help!

Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities

Yellow Pages for Kids With Disabilities

 

Wrightslaw Law & Advocacy Training

 

Contact Info

Pete and Pam Wright
Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043

Website

   

Copyright 2008, Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright. All rights reserved. Please do NOT reprint or host on your web site without explicit permission.

Alert! Call to Action
Contact VA Governor Tim Kaine TODAY!

To retain essential rights for children & parents, we need a landslide of calls, letters & email - before December 10th

Governor Tim KaineGovernor Tim Kaine's office is in the process of making decisions about the final special education regulations.

Governor Kaine needs to hear the powerful voices of parents, family, friends, and other advocates of children with disabilities.

We need to remind the Governor that parents and advocates are not asking for new or more rights for our children. We are asking the Governor not to allow our children's existing rights and protections be taken away.

There is no justification for reducing the rights and protections for Virginia's children with disabilities and their parents.

In a March 21, 2008 Memorandum, Governor Kaine wrote: "I have concerns about proposals in this regulation that reduce parental involvement in key decisions made about their children. These include, but are not limited to ..." Click to read Governor's concerns

We must ask the Governor to return these regulations to the VDOE so they can reinstate the rights and protections eliminated from the proposed regs.

Call or email NOW!

This is our last chance to help Governor Kaine understand our concerns and fears about eliminating protections for our children.

We need to remind Governor Kaine that the regulations presented by VDOE represent a significant shift away from Virginia’s longstanding commitment to parent-school partnerships and protecting our most vulnerable children.

This is your chance to be heard!

We want to ensure that Governor Kaine receives a landslide of phone calls, emails and letters from parents, advocates, and others on this issue. Please forward this alert to other families, friends, and colleagues. Ask them to contact Governor Kaine to express their concerns about these regulations.

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Call or Write Governor Kaine Directly

parents writing and callingCall or write Governor Kaine directly. Do it today!

Ask the Governor to formally object to the Regulations governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia.

Ask the Governor to return these Regulations to the Virginia Department of Education and order a “notice of suspension.”

These regulations must be revised to ensure that Virginia's children and parents retain the rights and protections they currently have.

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Governor Kaine’s Contact Information

Governor Tim KaineEmail address: tkaine@governor.virginia.gov

Phone numbers: (804) 786-2211 / Fax: (804) 371-6351

Mailing address: Office of the Governor, Patrick Henry Building, 3rd Floor, 1111 East Broad Street, Richmond , Virginia 23219

To allow time for Governor Kaine to consider your concerns, email, call, or write today!

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What are Parents Asking For?

Parents are NOT requesting new rights; they simply ask that Virginia retain the protections that their children and they have long held.

dad and sonThese rights are at the heart of Virginia’s tradition of and commitment to the parent-school partnership. They have served children with disabilities for decades. There is no justification for eliminating these rights.

With the futures of tens of thousands of Virginia's most vulnerable children at stake, parents seek the intervention of the Governor to prevent this roll-back of rights for citizens of the Commonwealth.

Why do parents oppose the final regulations approved by the Board of Education?

Since they eliminate existing rights and protections, parents and child advocates across Virginia consider the final special education regulations approved by the Board on September 26th to be a significant policy shift for the Commonwealth. In their present form these regulatory changes represent the first time in well over 20 years that an entire class of citizens has lost.

Are the final proposed regulations a reasonable compromise between saving money and serving children?

No. The proposed regulations will deny many children with disabilities the services they need and will not save money. They merely shift the burden for meeting the needs of students with disabilities onto unprepared general education teachers and overstretched schools.

Such an approach will negatively impact classroom instruction, teacher retention, and state performance on standardized tests. Inadequate services for those who need them will also likely lead to increased suspension/expulsion rates and leave many students with disabilities unprepared to face the challenges of adult life.

The final regulations cannot be considered a reasonable compromise because they will ill serve the Commonwealth and only one party stands to lose from these policy changes – Virginia’s most vulnerable children.

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How Will these Special Education Regulations Harm Children?

young girl smilingThe final regulations proposed by VDOE roll back Virginia's long-standing parent involvement rights in the education of their children with disabilities. They eliminate current protections that ensure that children receive appropriate services.

The regulations presented to Governor Kaine continue to:

  • Deny parents the right to participate in the referral and screening process by eliminating "Child Study Committees" with their required state-wide uniform procedures and timelines.
  • Deny parents of transferring students the right of consent for IEP (Individualized Education Program) services to which they do not agree.
  • Deny parents the right to participate in a Functional Behavioral Assessment of their child when his/her behavior impedes learning.
  • Deny parents the guarantee of timely evaluations due to the approval of unnecessary extensions of the timeline.
  • Deny children with disabilities access to appropriate services due to new restrictive and arbitrary eligibility criteria.
  • Deny young children with disabilities access to appropriate services due to new limits on the label of "developmental delay".
  • Deny parents the guarantee to short-term objectives or benchmarks in their child's IEP.
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