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Special Education Summit Special Education Litigation September 20, 2013 David Bateman Shippensburg University.

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Presentation on theme: "Special Education Summit Special Education Litigation September 20, 2013 David Bateman Shippensburg University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Special Education Summit Special Education Litigation September 20, 2013 David Bateman Shippensburg University

2 Sequestration Budget deal mandating automatic cuts Starts July 1 for education Many teachers to be cut – 2013-2014 school year 100,000 fewer children in Head Start Massive Title 1 cuts States make up difference

3 Testing Common adaptive tests, PARRC 1% or 2%? Computer adaptive tests – Braille – Font adjustments – charts and graphs

4 Child Find 1.All personnel 2.Team approach 3.RTI and denial 4.Differences with private schools 5.Keep taking data on the child 6.The “Howler”

5 Child Find Purpose 1. Affirmative obligation 2. Reason to suspect 3. Reason to believe 4. Schools obligation – Do not wait for parents – More data is better – Use the parents!! – If not referred, give advice

6 Eval 1. Not a fighting issue (job security!!) 2. You do the eval 3. Do it timely 4. Address current issues, not potential probs 5. Use the independent evals -But don’t necessarily agree 6. Only give evals comfortable/trained

7 Eval Continued 7. Current tests 8. Affirmative obligation 9. Word B.A.D. evals carefully 10. Don’t be boring

8 Eligibility 1. Special Ed! 2. Be thorough, be accurate 3. Timelines 4. The right people 5. Parents! 6. Don’t fight over disability label 7. More than test scores

9 More eligible 8. School performance is more than just educational performance 9. 504 v. IDEA eligible 10. B.A.D. v. Emotional disability eligible 11. Use doctors

10 IEP 1. Words to use (and mean) 2. Implement 3. Parents! 4. Educationally suitable 5. Check or internal audit 6. Implementers 7. Copy and paste

11 More IEP 8. Vote v. consensus 9. Do not segregate 10. Costs 11. Parents requests for private 12. Use your words very carefully

12 Procedural Safeguards 1. Draft IEP’s! Draft placements! 2. Keep meeting notes 3. Kill trees 4. Prior written notice 5. Allow parents quick access to records 6. Quick response to IEE requests 7. Mediation/IEP Facilitation 8. Stay put. But move when necessary.

13 Discipline 1. Tell principals to check re: eligible 2. Manifestation v. causal 3. Parents!! 4. Bring all info on student to meeting 5. Bring all people to meeting 6. Consensus v. stonewall 7. Really a manifestation? Or not? 8. Provide services

14 ESY Make a determination in February to avoid comp ed claims later Document discussion Not just for ed services, but regression and recoupment No cut and paste services

15 Transition Get agencies involved, with parents permission IEP responsibilities if others don’t help

16 Section 504 Two-part test Parents! May not need accommodations but still are protected Students on health or medical plans eligible! Make all your programs accessible One responsible person

17 Records Employers can review all computers All email can be read by parents Be professional Web sites can be tracked Email can be educational records Email can be subpoenaed Fax machine use One student per email

18 Records Continued Assume disclosure Determine records keeper Student definition expanded Third Parties – Institutional service – Under control of LEA – Subject to disclosure rules

19 Does Special Education Work? Administrators in districts are proud of their special education programs. But how do they measure their success? Three questions arise: – What should or who should not be expected to master the general education curriculum? – In what cases can special education students be expected to leave special education? – Is the growing need for special education the result of failure on the part of the schools themselves?

20 20 Ideas to Contain Costs Anticipate Needs and Budget Accordingly Provide Early Literacy Programs Use More Than One Reading Approach Plan for Consequences of Curriculum Changes Teach Basic Study Skills Connect Resources and Fiscal Accountability

21 Plan for Consequences of Curriculum Changes If you institute a new program and do not do the proper advance planning and training, be prepared to see special education costs rise.

22 Teach Basic Study Skills Check your schools to find out whether organization and study skills are actively taught at the elementary level; they will enhance your secondary student success and lessen referrals to special education.

23 Be Ready for Unhappy Parents Sometimes we just have to say, “ No. ” Does this mean we need them to move?

24 What can schools do to reduce the chances of litigation? Document, document, document Return phone calls Support for all children Support for all teachers Support for all parents

25 Due Process Myths Too much litigation Too much paperwork Too many meetings Complex and burdensome Feds cause problems

26 Issues Identification (child find) (Re)Evaluations and placements Notice Requirements Appropriate education IEP ’ s Progress (or lack thereof)

27 Roles and Responsibilities Use Resolution Session or Mediation First to Solve Disputes. Work to Restoring Relationships Between the Parties. Understand Legal Recourses Parties to the Dispute Have Following Any Level of the Decision.

28 Summary Big changes every five (or seven) years Special education is not going away Document everything Seek support from others Provide support for students, teachers, aides

29 Finally Visibility Diversity your interests Active in curriculum Proactive in interactions Thick skin Humor

30 Tips for Making Things Worse Don ’ t return phone calls Use the word NEVER a lot Say we don ’ t do that here Miss deadlines Use a cookie cutter Lose paperwork Don ’ t provide support for teachers

31 More Handy Tips Act superior Use tense posture Preach Use sarcasm Work to impress the parents with acronyms IEP meetings done before they start Don ’ t have right people at meetings Back them into a corner Ignoring the “ Howler ”

32 Expectations Happy Friendly Athletic Good natured Pretty Well-mannered Well-behaved Outgoing Smart Independent Optimistic Hard worker Enthusiastic Teacher pleaser

33 Reality Intellectual Disability ADHD LD Autistic Deaf Blind/Visually Impaired PDD Emotional problems At-risk Needy Teacher dislikes No friends People shun Lonely Not independent

34 Questions and Answers??

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