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How Parents Can Overcome Roadblocks to Compensatory Education Services
by Pam & Pete Wright

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Good Friday morning!

Although if you are among the millions of parents who counted on your child's school opening for in-school learning this fall, you may be facing a tough new reality if your child can't return to school in the fall.

We feel your pain.

That's why we decided to dive into compensatory education, provide a list of smart, healthy things to do, share a favorite case that still teaches important lessons, along with a true blast from the past that may give you a sense of deja vu.

concerned woman

In this issue of The Special Ed Advocate, you will ...

  • learn how parents can overcome roadblocks to compensatory education (and get The List)
  • read "Loving Parents Want What's Best for Their Child - But the School Only Needs to Provide an 'Appropriate Program'"
  • get educated AND save $$ with our Summer Reading Sale
  • learn what swine flu has to do with FAPE (the blast)

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1. How to Overcome Roadblocks to Compensatory Education

In March 2020, the U.S. Department of Education published guidance about the COVID-19 pandemic for states and school districts.

The guidance includes a statement that got the attention of many people.

"Where ... there has been an inevitable delay in providing services or even making decisions about how to provide services, IEP teams must make an individualized determination about whether and to what extent compensatory services may be needed when schools resume normal operations."

Given the confusion and uncertainty that characterize this school year, you should expect your child's IEP team to balk at providing your child with an appropriate amount of compensatory education that addresses your child's unique needs. The team may not balk, but you need to prepare for a worst case scenario.

What can you do to increase the odds that your child will receive appropriate compensatory education services? Read How Parents Can Overcome Roadblocks to Compensatory Education

In addition to a game plan for compensatory education, we compiled a short list of positive, practical things you can do to counter these negative emotions. You'll find the list embedded in How Parents Can Overcome Roadblocks to Compensatory Education.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

2. Loving Parents Want What's Best for Their Child - But the School Only Needs to Provide an 'Appropriate Program'

B.W. was a child with severe learning disabilities and social problems. She did not interact with other children and did not have friends.

Her parents asked the school district to fund her placement at Maplebrook School in Amenia, New York. The parents felt that a residential placement was the best way to address her problems.

In 1998, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a decision in the New York tuition reimbursement case, Walczak v. Florida Union Free School District. The Court held that the program proposed by the public school provided B.W. with a free appropriate education.

The Second Circuit quoted a 1984 decision by (now) U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsburg:

" . . . because public resources are not infinite, federal law does not secure the best education money can buy; it calls upon government, more modestly, to provide an appropriate education for each disabled child."

Learn more about FAPE and why you must never use the word "Best" when communicating with school staff in Loving Parents Want What's Best for Their Child but . . . "

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3. Summer Reading Sale

Save 25% on all Wrightslaw products!

Immediate Training downloads and publications in all formats! Advocacy supplies too!

USE Coupon Code 071620

For bulk order discounts up to 50%, call 877-529-4332 or send us an email.

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4. What Does 'Swine Flu' Have to do with FAPE?

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana

For those who are interested in history and those who believe that "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it," we have a special treat.

We recently discovered What Does Swine Flu Have to Do with FAPE (originally posted on 09/14/2009) on the Wrightslaw blog. The blog post asked several interesting but familiar questions.

"What happens if your child's school must close for an extended period because of an outbreak of swine flu? Is this considered a loss of 'educational opportunities?'"

"The U.S. Department of Education has issued guidance to help prepare States and school districts in the event of an outbreak of the H1N1 virus during the coming school year."

"The guidance, in a question and answer format, addresses the obligations of, and best practices for, states and schools with regard to ... [are you experiencing a sense of deja vu yet?] ... the requirements for providing FAPE to children with disabilities when planning for a virus outbreak."

Revised: 00/00/0000
Created: 07/23/2020

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