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

Proposed scholarship program aims to help tackle teacher shortage

Sadly, there are things that have the potential to get in the way of special needs students getting a high-quality education. One is there not being enough qualified special education teachers in the school system they are a part of. Concerns about the possibility of this problem arising here in California are among the concerns that have come up in connection to the teacher shortage in the state.

One of the possible tactics California is currently looking into for addressing the shortage is a proposed scholarship program. The recent state budget draft purportedly includes funding for the proposed new program.

Fidget spinner bans at schools

Among the many rules schools have are rules on what kids can and cannot bring to class. One object that such rules have increasingly been coming up for lately are fidget spinners.

These small devices that can be spun have grown considerably in popularity among kids in recent times.

Parent-school disputes over special education

Parents of special needs students generally hope that they and their child’s school district will be on the same page regarding their child’s education needs and how best to meet these needs. However, parents and districts sometimes are not, and end up in disputes over the special education services provided to a child.

The U.S. sees a fair number of special education disputes. This can be seen in statistics on special-education-related complaints made by parents in the 2013-2014 school year. Reportedly, that school year saw the filing of:

Could special video game help kids with ADHD?

Video games are a major source of entertainment for children. Might video gaming, however, also provide a therapy route for kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder? A recent study yielded some interesting results regarding the effects of a special video game on kids with ADHD.

The video game in question is aimed at being therapeutic in nature and has a variety of different features. In the study, researchers had a group of children ages 8 to 11 play this game over the course of a month. During this month, the children played this game five days a week, for about 25 minutes a day.

Report: states vary greatly in their seclusion/restraint policies

The laws on special education are not the only rules that can have big impacts on students with disabilities. Among the others that can prove quite impactful are the rules in their state when it comes to school disciplinary matters. There are many issues related to disciplinary incidents that could come up for children with disabilities and other students. This includes issues related to restraint and seclusion.

The federal government currently has no mandatory policies on seclusion and restraint in schools. While it has issued guidance on this topic, it leaves direct regulation to the states.

Decision made on the standard for a ‘free appropriate public education’

The U.S. Supreme Court, last month, made its ruling in a special education case.

The case regarded what standard schools have to meet to comply with the right to a ‘free appropriate public education" that federal special education law provides to students that have disabilities.

Adopted children and special education matters

Legal issues regarding the adoption itself are not the only significant legal issues that can come up in relation to adopting a child. Another type that can arise for adoptive parents are issues related to their adopted child’s education. This could include matters regarding special education. Such matters can have many complexities and how they are addressed can have significant education impacts for an adopted child. 

Special education and teacher qualification levels

What a special needs child’s education experience is like can be impacted by many things. This includes what is in their IEP and how closely their IEP is followed. So, when issues come up regarding their child’s IEP, how a parent responds can matter greatly. Skilled education lawyers understand the complex and impactful nature of IEP issues and can advise parents when it comes to such issues.

Another thing that can be very impactful on a child with disabilities is how qualified the special education teachers at their school are.

Special education enrollment up slightly nationwide

Recently, the U.S. Department of Education released data on special education enrollment in the nation in the 2015-2016 school year. The data covers students between the ages of 6 and 21. The stats point to that school year seeing a slight increase in special education enrollment.

Reportedly, in that school year, students who received services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act totaled out to 6,050,725. In comparison, in the 2014-2015 school year, the number of students who received such special education services was 5,944,241.

California school in hot water after student punishment

When you send your child off to school, you do so with the assumption that the teachers and administrators will do their best to provide your little one with a safe learning environment. After all, these years at school will influence your child for the rest of his or her life. Most of the time, schools live up to their lofty charge. Unfortunately, there are times when they overstep their bounds and disproportionately punish their students by suspending, expelling or disciplining them.

Such was the case at one California elementary school late last year. Some parents and education activists are upset after they say a principal forced fourth- and fifth-graders to do planking exercises outside on three consecutive hot California days as punishment. They also claim that the principal threatened the children with juvenile detention. 

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