Presentation on theme: "A New IDEA! Meeting the Needs of Students With Disabilities Who Experience Homelessness Patricia A. Popp, Ph.D. Past President, NAEHCY Project HOPE-VA,"— Presentation transcript:
A New IDEA! Meeting the Needs of Students With Disabilities Who Experience Homelessness Patricia A. Popp, Ph.D. Past President, NAEHCY Project HOPE-VA, The College of William and Mary email@example.com Patricia Julianelle Pro Bono Counsel, NAEHCY Program Specialist, NCHE firstname.lastname@example.org
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Federal legislation (2004) USDE Regulations (2006) OSEP/OSERS Policy Letters/Memos www.wrightslaw.com/idea/law.htm www.taalliance.org/idea/index.htm State Regulations Litigation
Who is eligible to receive services under IDEA? Children who need special education and related services by reason of their disability. 20 USC 1401(3); 34 CFR 300.8
What is special education? Specially-designed instruction, at no cost to parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability. 1401(29); 300.39
What are related services? Transportation and developmental, corrective, and other supportive services required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education, including: speech-language services audiology services interpreting services psychological services Physical and occupational therapy early identification counseling services school health services social work services parent counseling and training 1401(26); 300.34
What are disabilities? Learning disabilities Mental retardation Emotional disturbance (disability or disorder) Other health impairment Orthopedic impairment Severe disabilities Autism Traumatic brain injury Hearing impairment or Deafness Visual impairment or Blindness Multiple disabilities (Developmental delay) 1401(3); 300.8
Is there a disability? School/medical records Report cards Standard assessments IEP Child study minutes Evaluation begun…but…. Parent/student comments Behavior Teacher observations Observations / evaluations by community health and mental health providers
Possible Interventions Prior to Special Education Classroom interventions Mentors, tutoring School counselors Consult special education team Behavior management interventions
Starting the Process 1. The student must be age 3 – 21 (Part B); suspected of having a disability; who may need special education and related services. 2. The “parent” must request a special education evaluation, in writing. 1414(a)(1); 300.301(b) 3. The parent should keep a signed, dated copy of the request.
Managing the Process 4. The parent should work with school staff to ensure the student receives all needed evaluations, promptly. Um, what does promptly mean? In CT, evaluations must be completed and the IEP implemented within 45 school days. 1414(a)(1)(c); 300.301(c)
The timeframes apply to students who change LEAs with evaluations pending! UNLESS: (i) the new LEA is “making sufficient progress to ensure a prompt completion of evaluations,” AND (ii) “the parent and the LEA agree to a specific time when the evaluation will be completed.” 1414(a)(1)(C)(ii); 300.301(d)(2)
How can evaluations be completed on time? Schools must coordinate with prior schools “as necessary and as expeditiously as possible to ensure prompt completion of full evaluations.” 1414(b)(3)(D); 300.304(c)(5)
The Dreaded IEP 5. If evaluations show that the student needs special education and related services due to a disability, the school must develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for the student within 45 days of referral. The IEP is the blueprint for the student’s education. 1414(d); 300.320, 300.323 6. Parents should ensure the IEP is fully and consistently implemented.
How are IEPs implemented when a child changes LEAs? If the IEP is current, the new LEA must immediately provide appropriate services. 1414(d)(2)(C)(i); 300.323(e) What does “appropriate services” mean? “Services comparable to those described” in the previous IEP, In consultation with parents. 1414(d)(2)(C)(i); 300.323(e)
How does the new LEA know the student has an IEP? Ask good questions! The new LEA must promptly obtain the child’s records from the previous school, and the previous school must promptly respond to records requests. 1414(d)(2)(C)(ii); 300.323(g) SEAS (Special Education Automation System): private web-based data system www.computerautomation.com/
Appropriate services are in place, now what? The new LEA can either adopt the old IEP, or develop a new one. If it’s a new state, the LEA can conduct new evaluations. 1414(d)(2)(C)(i); 300.323(e)
Hot Tips from the Pats “Lack of instruction” is not grounds to refuse to evaluate a student; it must be considered as part of the evaluation process (SLD) or part of the eligibility determination. 1414(b)(5) 300.306, 300.309 Be prepared for the IEP meeting; know what you want and why. Consider videoconferencing or a conference call if necessary; the parent has the right to be there. 1414(f); 300.322, 300.328
Hot Tips cont. Get independent evaluations, if necessary. Be familiar with all your procedural safeguards. Communicate concerns verbally and in writing. Know the “chain of command” for your communication. If that doesn’t work, the IDEA contains strong dispute resolution procedures (e.g., mediation and due process). Work with a lawyer or advocate, if necessary.
Who can be a “parent” for special education purposes? parent, foster parent, guardian, person who is acting in the place of a parent and with whom the child is living; can be a non- relative (300.20 “include”), a person legally responsible for the child. 1401(23); 300.30(a)(4)
Um, what if a student doesn’t have any of those people? The LEA must assign a “surrogate parent” within 30 days, if: no “parent” can be identified, no “parent” can be located, the student is a ward of the State, or the student is an unaccompanied youth under McKinney-Vento. 1415(b)(2); 300.519
OK, then how are surrogates assigned? The LEA must have a system to determine if a child needs a surrogate parent and to assign a surrogate parent within 30 days after the need is determined. Judges can appoint surrogates for wards of the state. 1415(b)(2); 300.519
Who can be a surrogate? Surrogate parents can’t be employees of SEAs, LEAs, or other agencies involved in the education and care of the child, and can’t have any conflicting interests. They must have knowledge and skills necessary to be a good surrogate. 1415(b)(2); 300.519
BUT for unaccompanied youth, these people can be temporary surrogates: Staff of emergency shelters, transitional shelters, independent living programs, and street outreach programs; State, LEA, or agency staff involved in the education or care of the child. 300.519; preamble to regulations
The Little Ones: IDEA Part C Provides services to infants and toddlers under age 3 who have a disability (includes developmental delay, physical or mental condition likely to produce a developmental delay, and those at-risk for developmental delays, at a state’s discretion). 1434
Evaluations and IFSPs School must do a multidisciplinary evaluation and needs assessment, including the family’s needs and goals. School must promptly develop and implement an individualized family service plan (IFSP), evaluated once a year and reviewed every 6 months, or more often as appropriate. 1436
What services might be available? family training, counseling, and home visits; speech-language services; occupational and physical therapy; psychological and social work services; service coordination services; health services necessary to enable the infant or toddler to benefit from the other early intervention services; social work services; assistive technology devices and services; and transportation and related costs that are necessary to enable an infant or toddler and family to receive another service.
Part C programs must make services available to infants and toddlers with disabilities who are homeless, and their families. 1434(1) There is a right to a hearing, confidentiality, and to decline any services. Surrogate parent rules also apply to Part C. 1439
CAN IDEA AND MCKINNEY-VENTO GET ALONG? IDEAMcKinney-Vento No IEP from our LEA, no services Immediate enrollment without documents No parent, no servicesImmediate enrollment of unaccompanied youth Placement through local IEPSchool of origin Who’s going to pay for this?Yeah, who’s going to pay for this?
YES! Now more than ever… IDEA now specifically defines “homeless children” to include all children and youth considered homeless by McKinney-Vento. 1402(11); 300.19 New rules on records transfer, timelines, and expediting evaluations for transferring students. New rules on implementing previous IEPs.
And there’s more… IDEA now specifically requires each public agency to ensure that the rights of unaccompanied homeless youth are protected. 300.519(a) New rules on surrogate parents for unaccompanied youth Special education placements must be “as close as possible to the child’s home, unless the parent agrees otherwise.” 300.116
And get a load of this… Any state receiving IDEA funds must ensure that the requirements of the McKinney-Vento Act are met for all children with disabilities in homeless situations in the state. 1412(a)(11)(A)(iii); 300.149(a)(3)
Child Find The State must ensure that all students with disabilities residing in the State who need special education are identified, located, and evaluated. This requirement specifically applies to students experiencing homelessness, including infants and toddlers, and wards of the state. CT Child Find: (800) 445-2722 1412(a)(3)(A), 1435; 300.103
Key to Collaboration Every state’s IDEA Advisory Panel and Part C Interagency Coordinating Council must include McKinney-Vento personnel 1412(a)(21); 300.168(a); 1441(b)(1)(K)
Key Collaborators Special Education personnel State Local Parent Training and Information Centers Protection and advocacy centers
Implementing IDEA for children and youth in homeless situations Group I: Initiating and Expediting Evaluations Group D: Implementing IEPs for Transfer Students Group E: Assigning Temporary Surrogates for Unaccompanied Youth Group A: Identifying and Serving Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities
Group I: Initiating and Expediting Evaluations What will you do to help parents know their rights and initiate evaluations? What will you do to coordinate the evaluation process with prior and subsequent school districts? What will you do to assist parents to participate in the evaluation and IEP process? What will you do to start to collaborate with your special education team, and to maintain a strong collaboration?
Group D: Implementing IEPs for Transfer Students What will you do to determine if enrolling students are special education students? What will you do to ensure special education students enrolling in your district receive “appropriate services” immediately? What will you do to facilitate records transfer between prior and subsequent school districts? What will you do to start to collaborate with your special education team, and to maintain a strong collaboration?
Group E: Assigning Temporary Surrogates for Unaccomp’d Youth What will you do to determine if an unaccompanied youth may need special education services? What will you do to determine if an unaccompanied youth has a “parent” available? If no “parent” is available, what will you do to identify potential temporary surrogates? What will you do to start to collaborate with your special education team, to implement a process for immediate assignment of temporary surrogate parents, and to maintain a strong collaboration?
Group A: Identifying and Serving Infants and Toddlers What will you do to find and identify children under 3 who may need special education services? What will you do to help their parents know their rights and initiate evaluations? What will you do to ensure evaluations are completed and IFSPs are implemented promptly? What will you do to ensure IFSPs are continuously implemented when children transfer school districts? What will you do to start to collaborate with your local Part C team, and to maintain a strong collaboration?
Resources NASDSE (www.nasdse.org) www.nasdse.org/publications/homelessness_and_SWD.pdf www.nasdse.org/publications/HighlyMobileChildrenandYouthwithDis abilities-PoliciesandPracticesinFiveStates.pdf Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) of 2004 (NCHE Issue Brief) www.serve.org/nche/downloads/briefs/idea.pdf Project HOPE-VA (www.wm.edu/hope) Information briefs – special ed., ECSE
Resources (cont’d) Parent Training and Information Centers (888) 248-0822 Free legal resources for students with disabilities National Disability Rights Network, www.napas.org Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, www.copaa.org/find/index.php Legal Services, www.nls.org/paatstat.htm USDE Office of Special Education Programs www.ed.gov/offices/OSERS/OSEP USDE Resources for parents www.ed.gov/parents/needs/speced/resources.html