Several weeks ago, someone who was using the Special Education Law and Advocacy Multimedia training program asked a question about the school’s legal obligation to identify and test students.
As a tutor who works with students struggling in reading and math, she was concerned about the number of her students who have never been tested or received any services, despite having continually performed below grade level.
These kids’ parents were unaware that they could request testing, or that their children might have a learning disability and be eligible for special education services.
Do you have a struggling student?
If you have a student who is struggling and has not been evaluated or received any specialized help, read what IDEA 2004 says about the Child Find mandate.
As she learned more about advocacy, this tutor has helped parents request testing and get IEPs. She worries that for many kids, this is too little and too late. Many of her students were never identified and are now in middle school.
For parents, tutors, and others who read this and are not aware of these legal requirements – YES, schools are required to identify and evaluate all children who may have disabilities under the Child Find mandate. If you have a student who is struggling and has not been evaluated or received any help, read what IDEA 2004 says about Child Find.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act includes the Child Find mandate. Schools are required to locate, identify and evaluate all children with disabilities from birth through age 21. (20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(3))
The Child Find mandate applies to all children who reside within a State, including:
- children who attend private schools and public schools,
- highly mobile children,
- migrant children,
- homeless children, and
- children who are wards of the state.
This includes all children who are suspected of having a disability, including children who receive passing grades and are “advancing from grade to grade.” (34 CFR 300.111(c)) The law does not require children to be “labeled” or classified by their disability. (20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(3)(B); 34 CFR 300.111(d)).
For more information about these requirements, read “The Child Find Mandate: What Does it Mean to You?”