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Steven A. Greenburg, Education Law
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Santa Cruz, CA 95060-4567

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Santa Cruz Special Education Law for Parents Blog

Addressing racial disparity in special education programs

Every parent should be able to expect their children will receive a quality education and the services afforded to them by law. Unfortunately, the education system in this country is lacking in many ways, and students are the ones who pay the price.

This is particularly evident when it comes to special-needs students and the racial disparity that exists between white and nonwhite students. According to statistics, nonwhite students with special needs are far less likely to earn a traditional diploma than white students are.

What are expellable offenses for students with disabilities?

When it comes to suspension and expulsion, parents often wonder what their child’s rights are and what they aren’t. This is especially true for parents of students with disabilities.

To be prepared for any possible punishments a school may try to bestow upon your child, it would be handy to know what is and isn’t an expellable offense.

When special education services aren’t properly tailored to needs

It is critical for students with disabilities to get special education services tailored to their specific needs. When the support they get isn’t properly tailored, it could cause serious problems.

For one, it could result in them not getting enough support and dealing with classes that are too difficult.

Paraprofessionals and the special education teacher shortage

Teacher shortages can have major impacts on students. One shortage school districts in many different parts of the country have been experiencing recently is a shortage of special education teachers. In the midst of this shortage, states and school districts have been turning to a range of tactics to combat it.

A recent Education Dive article focuses on one of these tactics. This tactic involves encouraging paraprofessionals who have been working in a school district to transition to becoming teachers in high-demand fields, including special education.

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.

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