The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
January 29, 2001

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Issue: 100
ISSN: 1538-3202

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1. New Decision from 6th Circuit - IEPs, Draft IEPs, Placement

On January 24, 2001, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued a decision in Knable v. Bexley City School District (OH). This decision is about IEPs, draft IEPs and "written offers," essential
components in the IEP, when and how placement are made, burden of proof, and appropriateness of the private placement.

Although the school district met with the parents about the child's needs, the district did not convene an IEP meeting. The school district claimed they could not develop an IEP because the parents did not agree with their proposed placement. The Court firmly disagreed.

The Court found that "the absence of an IEP at any time during Justin's sixth-grade year caused Justin to lose educational opportunity . . . Without an IEP in place, Justin's behavior and performance suffered.
Justin's inappropriate behavior became more frequent over the course of his sixth-grade year and his academic performance deteriorated. Bexley's failure to convene an IEP conference thus resulted in Justin losing educational opportunity."

In Knable, the Court discusses "draft IEPs" and the importance of the IEP as the "written offer." They noted, "The written offer not only helps to eliminate factual disputes between the school district and parents about proposed placements, but also "greatly assists parents in presenting complaints with respect to any matter relating to the . . . educational placement of the child."

Get this important new decision from the Wrightslaw site

FROM WRIGHTSLAW: The Knables were represented by Frank Hickman, Esq. Mr. Hickman is a member of COPAA and will present at the 4th Annual COPAA Conference in Washington, DC, March 8-11, 2001.

2. Pet & Pam Wright ask for your help

Wrightslaw and The Special Ed Advocate newsletter are free. Our mission with Wrightslaw and the newsletter is to get information about special education law and advocacy into the hands of parents, teachers, health care providers, child advocates, attorneys, and other "stakeholders." If you have accurate information, you'll force the system to change.

To get the word out, we designed a "Wrightslaw Flyer." We saved the flyer as a "printer-friendly" pdf file. If you belong to a parent group or disability organization, we hope you'll distribute this flyer to your
members. Do you know others who are interested in special education, advocacy, and disabilities issues - your child's pediatrician, psychologist, special education teacher?

Here is how to save the flyer so you can print it later. Move your cursor over the link and RIGHT CLICK your mouse. A box will open that says "Save Target As." When you click the "Save Target As" option, you can save the file in a directory on your computer. To open the flyer, you need to have Adobe Reader software installed on your computer. You can download this free software from the Adobe site.

Thanks from Pete & Pam Wright!

3. How to use an IEP Attachment

Are you having trouble getting the IEP team to address your concerns? Read advocate Judy Bonnell's suggestions about how to handle this problem.


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