Summer School for Advocates
Final Exam: Special Education Law

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In This Issue . . .

Circulation: 72,866
ISSN: 1538-320

In Summer School for Advocates you've learned that advocates must gather facts and information. Advocates educate themselves about their local school district and state academic standards.

Advocates read special education laws, regulations, and cases to get answers to their questions.

Advocates know legal rights. Advocates know the procedures that parents must follow to protect their rights and their child’s right to a free, appropriate public education.

In this issue of the Special Ed Advocate, Part 4 of Summer School, you will have a chance to review important caselaw, complete some practice questions, then test your knowledge with the special education law final exam.

Next week, don't miss our final issue in the series. You will learn how advocates take action! and get your Summer School for Advocates certificate.

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Please don't hesitate to forward this issue to other friends, families, or colleagues.


Caselaw Review

The Untold Story of Shannon Carter. Florence Co. Sch Dist Four v. Shannon Carter (1993). In a unanimous 9-0 decision, the Supreme Court found that if the public school fails to provide an appropriate education and the child receives an appropriate education in a private placement, the parents are entitled to be reimbursed for the child's education.

Analysis of Cedar Rapids v. Garret F. (1999) Supreme Court issued a favorable decision on behalf of child who needed related services to attend school.

How Will the Decision in Schaffer v. Weast Affect You? Supreme Court held that the burden of proof in a due process hearing that challenges an IEP is placed upon the party seeking relief.

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


Practice Questions - Special Education Law

1. A child who advances steadily from grade to grade, without failing grades, cannot be classified as a child with a disability.     True / False

2. If a parent requests a special education due process hearing against a school district, the school district must convene a resolution session in order to resolve the dispute:

a. Only if the parents are not represented by counsel.
b. Within 15 days of receiving notice of the parent’s complaint.
c. Unless a Resolution Session would “be futile.”
d. After the State has appointed an impartial mediator.

4. The primary purpose of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is__

5. In Bd. Education v. Rowley, the Supreme Court held that:

a. A deaf child is entitled to tuition reimbursement for a special education school if her home school cannot provide a free appropriate public education.
b. The school must provide a deaf child with a hearing aid, cochlear implant or sign language interpreter if this is necessary for the child to learn.
c. Children with disabilities are entitled to a free appropriate public education that includes access to specialized instruction and related services that provide educational benefit.
d. Children with disabilities are entitled to a special education that maximizes their potential.

Take the Final Exam

Pete and Pam are adjunct professors of law at the William and Mary Law School where they teach a course on Special Education Law and Advocacy and assist with the Special Education Advocacy Clinic.

For a good overview of the law and a test of your knowledge, try the final exam they administered to their students. Download a copy, spend as much time as you need on the questions. Then, submit an email to get the correct answers.

Take the Final Exam


Find a Law School Program: Disability or Special Education Law

"I advocated for my two children for many years. I also attended IEP meetings with other parents to provide advocacy and support. Now, I'm interested in law school. What do you recommend?"

Many law schools offer programs in Disability Law, Special Education Law, or Family and Children's Law. Here's a handy resource from the American Bar Association that shows disability related programs throughout the US. Click a state on the map to find what programs are offered by the law schools in that state.

ABA Law School Disability Programs Directory

Some law school programs have clinics that offer their services at no charge to assist families of children with special needs. Some clinics conduct free training classes so parents can become more knowledgeable advocates for their children. Use the map to find what programs are available in your state.


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Great Products From Wrightslaw

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, by Pam and Pete Wright Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind

Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board

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