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Special Education Summit

Special Education Summit

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Special Education Summit

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Presentation Transcript

  1. Special Education Summit Special Education Litigation September 20, 2013 David Bateman Shippensburg University

  2. Sequestration • Budget deal mandating automatic cuts • Starts July 1 for education • Many teachers to be cut • 2013-2014 school year • 100,000 fewer children in Head Start • Massive Title 1 cuts • States make up difference

  3. Testing • Common adaptive tests, PARRC • 1% or 2%? • Computer adaptive tests • Braille • Font adjustments • charts and graphs

  4. Child Find All personnel Team approach RTI and denial Differences with private schools Keep taking data on the child The “Howler”

  5. Child Find Purpose • 1. Affirmative obligation • 2. Reason to suspect • 3. Reason to believe • 4. Schools obligation • Do not wait for parents • More data is better • Use the parents!! • If not referred, give advice

  6. Eval • 1. Not a fighting issue (job security!!) • 2. You do the eval • 3. Do it timely • 4. Address current issues, not potential probs • 5. Use the independent evals -But don’t necessarily agree 6. Only give evals comfortable/trained

  7. Eval Continued • 7. Current tests • 8. Affirmative obligation • 9. Word B.A.D. evals carefully • 10. Don’t be boring

  8. Eligibility • 1. Special Ed! • 2. Be thorough, be accurate • 3. Timelines • 4. The right people • 5. Parents! • 6. Don’t fight over disability label • 7. More than test scores

  9. More eligible • 8. School performance is more than just educational performance • 9. 504 v. IDEA eligible • 10. B.A.D. v. Emotional disability eligible • 11. Use doctors

  10. IEP • 1. Words to use (and mean) • 2. Implement • 3. Parents! • 4. Educationally suitable • 5. Check or internal audit • 6. Implementers • 7. Copy and paste

  11. More IEP • 8. Vote v. consensus • 9. Do not segregate • 10. Costs • 11. Parents requests for private • 12. Use your words very carefully

  12. Procedural Safeguards • 1. Draft IEP’s! Draft placements! • 2. Keep meeting notes • 3. Kill trees • 4. Prior written notice • 5. Allow parents quick access to records • 6. Quick response to IEE requests • 7. Mediation/IEP Facilitation • 8. Stay put. But move when necessary.

  13. Discipline • 1. Tell principals to check re: eligible • 2. Manifestation v. causal • 3. Parents!! • 4. Bring all info on student to meeting • 5. Bring all people to meeting • 6. Consensus v. stonewall • 7. Really a manifestation? Or not? • 8. Provide services

  14. ESY • Make a determination in February to avoid comp ed claims later • Document discussion • Not just for ed services, but regression and recoupment • No cut and paste services

  15. Transition • Get agencies involved, with parents permission • IEP responsibilities if others don’t help

  16. Section 504 • Two-part test • Parents! • May not need accommodations but still are protected • Students on health or medical plans eligible! • Make all your programs accessible • One responsible person

  17. Records • Employers can review all computers • All email can be read by parents • Be professional • Web sites can be tracked • Email can be educational records • Email can be subpoenaed • Fax machine use • One student per email

  18. Records Continued • Assume disclosure • Determine records keeper • Student definition expanded • Third Parties • Institutional service • Under control of LEA • Subject to disclosure rules

  19. Does Special Education Work? • Administrators in districts are proud of their special education programs. But how do they measure their success? • Three questions arise: • What should or who should not be expected to master the general education curriculum? • In what cases can special education students be expected to leave special education? • Is the growing need for special education the result of failure on the part of the schools themselves?

  20. Ideas to Contain Costs • Anticipate Needs and Budget Accordingly • Provide Early Literacy Programs • Use More Than One Reading Approach • Plan for Consequences of Curriculum Changes • Teach Basic Study Skills • Connect Resources and Fiscal Accountability

  21. Plan for Consequences of Curriculum Changes • If you institute a new program and do not do the proper advance planning and training, be prepared to see special education costs rise.

  22. Teach Basic Study Skills • Check your schools to find out whether organization and study skills are actively taught at the elementary level; they will enhance your secondary student success and lessen referrals to special education.

  23. Be Ready for Unhappy Parents • Sometimes we just have to say, “No.” • Does this mean we need them to move?

  24. What can schools do to reduce the chances of litigation? • Document, document, document • Return phone calls • Support for all children • Support for all teachers • Support for all parents

  25. Due Process Myths • Too much litigation • Too much paperwork • Too many meetings • Complex and burdensome • Feds cause problems

  26. Issues • Identification (child find) • (Re)Evaluations and placements • Notice Requirements • Appropriate education • IEP’s • Progress (or lack thereof)

  27. Roles and Responsibilities • Use Resolution Session or Mediation First to Solve Disputes. • Work to Restoring Relationships Between the Parties. • Understand Legal Recourses Parties to the Dispute Have Following Any Level of the Decision.

  28. Summary • Big changes every five (or seven) years • Special education is not going away • Document everything • Seek support from others • Provide support for students, teachers, aides

  29. Finally • Visibility • Diversity your interests • Active in curriculum • Proactive in interactions • Thick skin • Humor

  30. Tips for Making Things Worse • Don’t return phone calls • Use the word NEVER a lot • Say we don’t do that here • Miss deadlines • Use a cookie cutter • Lose paperwork • Don’t provide support for teachers

  31. More Handy Tips • Act superior • Use tense posture • Preach • Use sarcasm • Work to impress the parents with acronyms • IEP meetings done before they start • Don’t have right people at meetings • Back them into a corner • Ignoring the “Howler”

  32. Expectations • Happy • Friendly • Athletic • Good natured • Pretty • Well-mannered • Well-behaved • Outgoing • Smart • Independent • Optimistic • Hard worker • Enthusiastic • Teacher pleaser

  33. Reality • Intellectual Disability • ADHD • LD • Autistic • Deaf • Blind/Visually Impaired • PDD • Emotional problems • At-risk • Needy • Teacher dislikes • No friends • People shun • Lonely • Not independent

  34. Questions and Answers??