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Win in Federal Court for Our Clients!

2020-04-15T02:18:09+00:00

Today our triplet clients had another huge win against the Miami-Dade County School District - the fourth largest in the country.  We're so thrilled to report that Judge Joan Lenard of the Federal District Court of the Southern District of Florida denied the school board's motion to dismiss our case.  Our clients, who won a due process case against the district under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, filed a complaint in federal court to enforce that win and the school district tied to get the case dismissed.  Today that motion to dismiss the case was denied.  This is a great development because [...]

Win in Federal Court for Our Clients!2020-04-15T02:18:09+00:00

Making School Work Wins Three Lawsuits Against the 4th Largest School District in the U.S.

2020-04-15T02:20:12+00:00

An Administrative Law Judge of the State of Florida Division of Administrative Hearings (Case Nos. 14­5679E, 14­5668E, 14­5669E) ruled last month that the Miami­Dade County School Board, which oversees the fourth largest school district in the country, violated the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act for failing to adequately educate very intelligent triplets with learning disabilities and ADHD at a well­regarded STEM magnet high school, the Marine Academy of Science and Technology (MAST@Florida International University). The students met the rigorous academic and behavioral admissions requirements of the school, but quickly landed on academic probation when the school failed to implement the [...]

Making School Work Wins Three Lawsuits Against the 4th Largest School District in the U.S.2020-04-15T02:20:12+00:00

The Promising Future of Virtual SpEd

2020-04-15T04:42:55+00:00

In my role as a special education advocate working primarily in Miami-Dade – the fourth largest public school district in the country – I’ve participated in hundreds of school meetings.   Naturally as an advocate, I meet lots of dissatisfied parents, but I also see very unhappy teachers and administrators who are equally frustrated with a special education system laden with laws and red tape that often doesn’t result in even adequate educational achievement. One bright light in Miami is an emphasis on high quality online education options for struggling learners which they can access at home and in school.  Virtual [...]

The Promising Future of Virtual SpEd2020-04-15T04:42:55+00:00

Don’t Let Your School Get Away with Denying an Evaluation to Your Child

2020-04-15T03:11:38+00:00

Every so often the government takes a powerful stance on the side of the less powerful.  January 21, 2011 was one of those moments.  On that date the United States Department of Education released a memo to the State Directors of Special Education stating that schools cannot deny or delay a parent's request for a psycho-educational evaluation of their child if the parent and the school believe that the child may be eligible for special education services.  It is pretty unusual for the US Dept. of Ed to issue a memo like that, and it must be that my experience [...]

Don’t Let Your School Get Away with Denying an Evaluation to Your Child2020-04-15T03:11:38+00:00

Charter Schools Have a Great Opportunity to Serve Sped Students Well

2020-04-15T04:32:33+00:00

As many of you may have heard, last spring the U.S. Government Accountability Office issued a study concluding that charter schools enroll a lower percentage of special education students than traditional public schools.  The latest is that the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights has deployed “several broad compliance reviews” to address enrollment as well as legal compliance in charter schools, and that some state legislatures have placed enrollment “targets” resembling quotas in charter schools to “fix” the enrollment problem. This GAO report has gotten a tremendous amount of attention over the last several months.  Some of that [...]

Charter Schools Have a Great Opportunity to Serve Sped Students Well2020-04-15T04:32:33+00:00

If RtI Isn’t Working for Your Child: Knowing Your Legal Rights

2020-04-15T03:25:11+00:00

Response to Intervention (RtI) is a 3-tiered process of research-based instruction, which is part of federal law (IDEA 2004). Before RtI, in order to get considered for special education services (an "IEP") the main thing your struggling learner needed was a psycho-educational evaluation (conducted by a private or public school psychologist). The evaluation needed to show that he or she had unexpectedly low achievement in reading or math (known as the "discrepancy formula"). RtI is a multi-step process of increasingly intensive and individualized instruction above and beyond what usually happens in the classroom. It will hopefully be more effective for struggling learners [...]

If RtI Isn’t Working for Your Child: Knowing Your Legal Rights2020-04-15T03:25:11+00:00

Congress Comes to the Rescue of Learning Disabled Students: Now Easier to Get a 504 Plan

2020-04-15T03:27:24+00:00

In the past, as many of you know, it has been extremely difficult for a learning disabled student who has performed well in school by compensating for his or her disabilities to obtain a 504 Plan.  That was because the law (Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act as interpreted by most school districts) stated that students who achieved well in school could not, by definition, have a disability which "substantially limited" the "major life activity" of learning - even if they suffered from a learning disability, ADHD or other disability. Getting a 504 Plan for [...]

Congress Comes to the Rescue of Learning Disabled Students: Now Easier to Get a 504 Plan2020-04-15T03:27:24+00:00

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