Schools here in California, as well as across the nation, have a duty to provide the best possible education to students regardless of whether they are special needs or not. In order to make sure that no student is left behind, school administrators and teachers need to be aware of their students' needs and make adjustments to the student's learning environment if necessary.
It's back-to-school time across the nation, which means new Individual Education Programs for students with special needs. As some of our more frequent readers may remember from our post on the subject at the beginning of this month, coming up with the best IEP for a child usually requires the help of administrators, teachers and parents. But in cases of divorce, this may be far more difficult than you think.
Being told that your child has a disability can be an overwhelming diagnosis to hear, especially when you learn about all of the things that go along with it. Your child may require disability benefits through the Social Security Administration, long-term medical care, or special rehabilitative services. If your child is school age, there are other things to consider too such as transportation to and from school and their education.
As we have said many times before, students with special needs have just as much of a right to a proper education as any other student. In order to achieve this, these students often require special services including modified transportation to get to and from school. If the school district does not offer these services, the student could miss out on the benefits of an education and the school district could find itself facing potential issues for this decision.
Did you know that since the late 1970s, public schools in the state of California have had little authority over where they allocate funds? Under the old system, schools were given a “pot of general dollars for every student,” which was then divvied up according to state guidelines. To comply with this two-tiered system, schools had to make sure that funding was being allocated to specific programs, such as special education, or risk losing that funding.
In 1975, Congress made it possible for students with severe disabilities to get a “free and appropriate education.” In 1990, that law was expanded by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which required public schools to meet the educational needs of disabled students.
Some of our California readers may remember a time when what you said outside of the classroom had no bearing on your ability to continue going to school. But now with advancements in technology and social media, it seems like many school districts across the nation are extending their reach a little far, perhaps even encroaching on a student’s right to freedom of speech as well.
An out-of-state matter against one school district has been ongoing for close to four years. A lawsuit was filed against schools for not catering to the needs of disabled children. This would include students suffering from autism, bipolar disorder and hyperactivity. Attorneys on both sides decided to meet in an attempt to reach a compromise.
It appears that school districts are often willing to spend a great deal of money in defending against education lawsuits. One such lawsuit involving an out-of-state school district's alleged failure to provide educational services for a deaf student has been fought for over four years. The lawsuit originally began in state court and looks like it will continue in federal court as well.
Federal agencies have intervened in a legal matter concerning special education students from Contra Costa County in California. It is claimed that these students were locked into solitary confinement for as much as 23 hours a day.