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Steven A. Greenburg, Education Law
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Santa Cruz Special Education Law for Parents Blog

Literature curriculum and the fight against bullying

Many things can impact the quality of the education environment a special needs student has at school. One is whether they are subjected to bullying. Bullying can impact many things for a student with disabilities. This includes their overall education experience and how safe and free to learn they feel at school.

When a parent discovers that their special needs child has experienced bullying or something else that could harm their education experience at school, they may wonder what can be done to protect their child’s rights and well-being. Such parents can seek out advice on these issues from experienced education lawyers. Such attorneys can assist parents of kids with special needs in their efforts to work with their child’s school to address bullying or other issues they fear may be keep their child from getting the high-quality education they deserve.

Report: Special education placement for minority students

A recent study by Pennsylvania State University and the University of California, Irvine explores if institutionalized bias affects which students enter special education programs. The statistical breakdown of race/ethnic groups in special education shows a disproportionate amount of certain populations in the program when compared to their enrollment rates in the wider educational system—specifically American indigenous children and multi-racial children are enrolled at higher rates than their overall population suggests is normal.

The study explores this idea: are more minority children placed in special education and is it a result of bias?

Supreme Court opts not to hear “stay put” provision case

Special needs students have various rights under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Sometimes, disputes arise over what exactly a given student is entitled to under these rights. Among the things such disputes can be over is what a particular term included in these rights means, as applied to a given situation.

Recently, some news came up regarding such a legal battle.

Is dyslexia under-identified at U.S. schools?

Sometimes, parents of special needs children encounter difficulties in their efforts to ensure their child’s particular education needs are being met. Among these can be challenges in getting their child’s school to acknowledge that their child has special needs.

A recent APM Reports article pointed to dyslexia being a condition that may be particularly under-identified at U.S. schools.

Helping the start of the school year go well for special needs students

With school in its opening weeks, among the things parents may be concerned about is whether their kid’s start of the school year will end up go smoothly. This can particularly be the case for parents of students with special needs. The start of a new school year can pose some special challenges for kids with disabilities. So, taking steps to address such challenges is something a parent of such a child may want to do this time of year.

A recent HealthDay article went over some of steps parents of special needs students can take to try to help their child when it comes to the start of the school year. This includes to: set a school routine for their kid, set priorities for their child, make sure their child’s teacher has all the information they need about the child and what things have worked for the child teaching-wise in the past, have a calendar with important school-related dates and stay away from comparing their kid to other students.

Report: Special education funding in California 'unequal'

As a parent of a child in a special education program, you are probably well aware of the individualized attention required in their schooling. When you sat down with the school to discuss your child's Individualized Education Program (IEP), the school explained the parameters for your child's education and progress based on their needs. What goes on behind the scenes to shape these programs?

While you see the end goals and objectives of your child's special education, do you understand what goes on to meet them? Because special education requires individualized attention, schools are often required to hire additional staff to take on the job. However, federal and state funding for special education staff and the programs they lead was recently called "very unequal," according to a report by Voice of San Diego, a non-profit news organization.

Having the right information crucial for parents of students with ADHD

Children with ADHD can face many challenges. Some of these challenges come from there still being quite a few misconceptions out in communities about this disorder.

So, parents of children with ADHD might wonder what they can do to try to fight such misconceptions and the stigmatization of ADHD in their community. One such way, as a recent U.S. News & World Report article noted, is for them to be an advocate for their child in their community.

Major increase in autism research funding requested

Different medical conditions see different levels of research funding. How much such funding has autism seen in recent times? It is estimated that, in 2015, $343 million was put towards autism research. This includes both public and private funds. This is well below the funding levels for some other conditions, such as AIDS and Alzheimer’s disease.

A request is being made asking that autism research funding levels be increased significantly in the next few years.

IEP: Is your child making progress?

Developing an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for your child is just the first step. After you establish a plan, you need to continuously monitor your child for signs of improvement. The school’s teachers and specialists will evaluate your child, and work to determine progress, but you also need to assess their development outside of this formal environment.

As a parent, you know your child’s personality, actions and development better than anyone else. Use this knowledge to ensure that your child’s IEP is meeting their needs and helping them learn in a meaningful way. How can you determine progress outside of the school environment?

The many costs of bullying

Bullying at schools can cause a great deal of harm. It can have major, lasting impacts on its victims. It can also have big implications, including monetary ones, for school districts.

Among the things bullying can do is make a student, and their parents, feel like school is no longer a safe place. Among the things this could lead to is a student having more school absences. In addition to having implications for a student’s education, such an increase could have financial ramifications for the student’s school district. This is because, here in California, level of student absences is among the things that impact what funding a school district receives.

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