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Santa Cruz Special Education Law for Parents Blog

Focus on IEPs in California, elsewhere in new teachers’ survey

The national nonprofit group Council for Exceptional Children conducted a survey earlier this year that should intensely interest all K-12 educators, school regulators, parents and others who logically care about educational quality and delivery.

One of its core findings was this: Barely more than half of general education teachers responding nationally to the survey view Individualized Education Programs as being of much worth to them in their interactions with special education students. Commentary on the survey stresses that legions of general-ed instructors see IEPs “as mere paperwork.”

How should California apply increased special education funding?

When it comes to funding for special education and California’s students with disabilities, Gov. Gavin Newsom and legions of lawmakers spanning the state agree … to disagree.

No one is arguing that California’s special education programs don’t urgently need a material infusion of money. What is being debated (and rather stridently), though, is the approach that should be taken to best promote optimal outcomes for special ed programs throughout the state.

How is CA special education poised to change in near future?

Things aren’t uniformly positive when it comes to blurred lines. Blurriness is often linked to a lack of clarity and standards that are more amorphous than workable.

In the realm of California’s special education programs, though, a universe primarily marked by blurred lines is something that progressively more parents and educators are embracing.

Spotlighting excellence, commitment in the special education realm

We imagine that many readers of our California special education blog at Steven A. Greenburg in Santa Cruz had one or more teachers that they remember with fondness and deep gratitude. A former student’s feelings of thankfulness for quality teaching often endure for decades and even a lifetime.

It is likely that Erin Castillo will be regarded that way in future years by students whose lives she is positively affecting right now. It seems altogether appropriate to spotlight such a quality instructor in the near wake of last week’s national Teacher Appreciation Week.

CA grant will promote special ed “train the trainer” agenda

San Diego State Assistant Professor Jessica Suhrheinrich refers to a “misconception” she views as being apparent in the realm of special education. Namely, that is the widely held view that a skilled teacher can forge optimal classroom outcomes after receiving and subsequently applying “some initial training.”

That training is both coveted and valuable, but the “initial” tag denotes its limitations. Gifted teachers often do take circumscribed new learning and apply it in wondrous ways for their students, but newly imparted knowledge without additional and ongoing support will logically have only marginal utility.

What are some primary consideration re IEP due process hearings?

State and federal laws mandate that American children with learning and other disabilities have a right to a meaningful education. That is as it should be, of course, and pro-child/pro-parent special education attorneys often deem it their privileged life’s work to fully promote that crucially important interest.

Centrally important in the special education sphere in California and nationally is the so-called Individualized Education Plan that is developed between parents and relevant officials. An IEP is an action plan that sets forth the type and parameters of services and related accommodations that a student needs in a given case.

CA would-be law seeks tighter controls over nonpublic schools

Readers of our Santa Cruz special education blog at Steven A. Greenburg might reasonably believe that California officials can instantly shut down a nonpublic school when it has unquestionably compromised a child’s safety or health.

As sensible as it sounds, though, it is not the prerogative presently of state authorities.

How key is inclusion for special education students?

As they say, “the proof is in the pudding.”

At one time (and tragically so), it was widely believed that children with special learning needs of any type were best served by being isolated from other students and generally kept apart from the wider learning community.

For parents wondering about their child’s special education rights

Do you ever wonder as a California parent if your child is being shortchanged by curtailed educational prospects? Do you perhaps think that learning opportunities routinely afforded others are not as readily available to your son or daughter owing to a disability or singular challenge?

Rest assured, no law sanctions such an outcome for California students participating in special education programs. In fact, bedrock protections have long existed to safeguard every child’s legal entitlements. We expressly note in a recent blog post at the proven education law firm of Steven A. Greenburg in Santa Cruz a key point that should make parents of children with special needs feel empowered.

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