Recent 9th Circuit Opinion Highlights Need for Parents to Know Their Rights

On July 15, 2014, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in E.M. v. Pajaro Valley Unified School District Office of Administrative Hearings. In addition to the law involved, the E.M. decision also highlights how important it is for parents know their rights and continue to advocate for their child. For students with disabilities time is always of the essence and parents must continue to keep advocating. The Court of Appeals found that students can be eligible for special education under other health impairment (“OHI”) even if they do not qualify for specific learning disability (“SLD”). This decision affirms the requirement in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act t

What is "Stay Put" and why is it important?

One of the most important protections or "Procedural Safeguards" for students in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA is the maintenance of current educational placement, often called "stay put." The IDEA requires that the student remain in the "then-current educational placement" for the duration of all IDEA proceedings. Stay put protects students while a dispute about their IEP is pending. This protection only applies if a due process complaint or other IDEA related proceeding has been filed. Also, the stay put protection does not apply to certain disciplinary actions, which will be the subject of another post. Basically, the stay put provision prevents a school district

Empowerment Scholarship Accounts

Arizona allows parents of children with disabilities to set up Empowerment Scholarship Accounts or ESAs. These ESAs are funded with a portion of the state education funds earmarked for your child. Once funded, parents can use the money in the accounts to pay for tuition and other services for their child at private schools. Students who may qualify include children with disabilities whether they are receiving special education and related services as part of an Individualized Education Program, or IEP or accommodations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act - so called “504 plans.” In order to qualify, the student with a disability must have been enrolled in a public school or been rece

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