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TOPICS. Child Find: Racial Disproportionality Independent Educational Evaluations Delays due to Response to Intervention Individualized Education Program Seclusion and Restraint Suspension Racial Disproportionality School to Prison Pipeline Filing a Complaint Complaint Investigator

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  • Child Find:

    • Racial Disproportionality

    • Independent Educational Evaluations

    • Delays due to Response to Intervention

  • Individualized Education Program

  • Seclusion and Restraint

  • Suspension

    • Racial Disproportionality

    • School to Prison Pipeline

  • Filing a Complaint

    • Complaint Investigator

    • Due Process Hearing Officer

    • District Court Resolution

Child find
Child Find

  • Importance of Early Intervention

  • School District’s Responsibility

Matthew effect
Matthew Effect

  • “For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.”

Independent educational evaluations
Independent educational evaluations

  • 34 C.F.R. § 300.502

  • (b) Parent right to evaluation at public expense.

  • (1) A parent has the right to an independent educational evaluation at public expense if the parent disagrees with an evaluation obtained by the public agency

  • (2) Parent is entitled to evaluation at public expense unless agency demonstrates at a due process hearing that its evaluation is appropriate …

  • (4) The public agency may ask for the parent’s reason why he or she objects to the public evaluation. However, the public agency may not require the parent to provide an explanation and may not unreasonably delay …

  • (5) A parent is entitled to only one independent educational evaluation at public expense each time the public agency conducts an evaluation with which the parent disagrees.

1977 to 2004
1977 to 2004

  • Exclusively used the “severe discrepancy” model.

    • Missed some children with average or below average IQs who struggled with reading.


  • Congress enacted No Child Left Behind.

  • Focus of NCLB is “proficiency” as measured by single test. Purpose is to raise performance of school as a whole, not to provide individualized services to a child.


  • Congress amended IDEA to require school districts to offer Response to Intervention approach to determine which students have learning disabilities.

    • School districts allowed to use IDEA resources to help children who cannot meet proficiency standards.

Seclusion and restraint
Seclusion and restraint

  • CP 0231-2012(Heir Force Community School)(Cline)

    • Very very strong findings criticizing a community school’s use of restraint

  • But contrast with Columbus complaint (CP 0203-2012)(Cline)

Cp 0231 2012 heir force community school
CP 0231-2012 (Heir force community school)

  • Student was only in first grade but being subject to restraint frequently. School threatened parent with disenrollment if parents contested suspension. Investigator documented a teacher noting that he or she actually sat on the student's chest which investigator describes as "potentially lethal." Complaint filed with Children's Services over alleged abuse of child.

Overview of complaint resolutions
Overview of complaint resolutions

  • May 2012 to May 2013:

    • 81 Complaints

    • 51 Pro-parent/student (63 %)

    • 30 Pro-district (37 %)

  • Significant variation by investigator and by school district

Examples of successful issues in complaints
Examples of successful issues in complaints

  • 1. Who is in attendance at IEP meetings

  • 2. Lack of parent communication/progress reports

  • 3. Poor scheduling of meetings with Parents

  • 4. Poorly Written IEPs

  • 5. Failing to have continuum of alternative placements

  • 6. Improper use of seclusion and restraint

  • 7. Obligations of community schools

  • 8. Failing to conduct evaluations/child find

Blame the mother
Blame the mother

  • CP 0144-2012 (North Canton)(Rensch)

    • District blamed parent for “effectively unilaterally removing the student from school” rather than acknowledging severity of student’s medical problems.

Iho and slro opinions
Iho and slro opinions

  • 1. SE 2603-2011, SLRO 2603-2012 (pro-District)

    • Procedural violations but no finding of substantive harm

    • School district removed services to allegedly help student function more independently

  • 2. SE 2609-2011, SLRO 2609-2011 (pro-District)(won’t discuss further)

    • Longstanding dispute by parent whose child was sent to Educare

    • District court cases under Horen v. Bd. of Educ. of City of Toledo Public School District

  • 3. SE 2662-2012, SLRO 2662-2012 (pro-Student)

    • Found no FAPE for two years but still ordered no compensatory education

    • IHO tried to apply new Ohio seclusion rules before they had gone into effect

  • 4. SE 2702-2012 (pro-District)

    • Pro se parent who isn’t able to follow rules

  • 5. SE 2802-2013 (pro-Student, in part)

    • Blamed mother but provided some relief for being forced to home school

  • 6. SE 2804-2013 (pro-District)

    • Blamed mother

    • Refuses to provide relief despite procedural violations

District court cases
District court Cases

  • Reversed IHO or SLRO:

    • Gibson v. Forest Hills (transition services)

    • P.C. v. Miford Exempted Village Schools (change in placement)

  • Affirmed SLRO:

    • Horen v. Toledo School District (Educare case)

    • Hupp v. Switzerland of Ohio Local School District (FAPE issues; procedural errors but no substantive harm)

    • T.J. v. Winton Woods School District (SLRO reversed IHO; district court affirmed SLRO)(same lawyer who brought P.C. v. Milford case)


  • These cases provide stark evidence of:

    • school districts writing entirely inadequate IEPs,

    • Blaming mothers for children’s challenges,

    • and use of entirely inappropriate seclusion and restraint.

  • Racial and class disproportionality reflected in Ohio, as in nation.

  • What can we do to improve professionalism of IHO and SLRO opinions in Ohio?

  • What can we do to overcome race and class bias in special education process?