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Friday, Aug. 4th 2017

K-12 Student With Disabilities Act – IDEA and The US Supreme Court’s Decision

A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision could have a profound effect on a K-12 student with disabilities. On March 17, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that public schools must provide a “free and appropriate public education” (FAPE) for students with disabilities, requiring school districts to meet their “substantive obligations” under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) by affording a student with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) – a plan that is “reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child’s circumstances.” As the nation’s special education law, IDEA provides rights and protections to a K-12 student with disabilities and to the parents. Learning your rights under IDEA can make it easier for your child to get the help he needs (and is legally entitled to) at school.

K-12 student with disabilitiesThis means that any qualifying K-12 student with disabilities within the jurisdiction of a school district is entitled to a free appropriate public education to include education services designed to meet the individual needs of the K-12 student with disabilities as adequately as the needs of non-disabled students; evaluation and placement procedures to guard against mis-classification or inappropriate placement and a periodic reevaluation of K-12 student with disabilities who have been provided special education or related services. Additionally, the establishment of due process procedures enabling parents and guardians to receive required notices and to review their child’s records, to challenge identification, evaluation and placement decisions, and an impartial review procedure with opportunities for participation by parents and representation by counsel, would be included.

Education programs for K-12 student with disabilities must be designed to meet their individual needs to the same extent that the needs of non disabled students are met, providing the same quality of education. The development of an individualized education program (IEP) is required for a K-12 student with disabilities who is participating in special education programs if schools are recipients of funding under the IDEA. Teachers of K-12 students with disabilities must be trained in the instruction of individuals with disabilities; facilities must be comparable and appropriate materials and equipment must be available.

A K-12 student with disabilities may not be excluded from participating in nonacademic services and extracurricular activities on the basis of disability and must be provided an opportunity to participate in nonacademic services that is equal to that provided to persons without disabilities. These services may include physical education and recreational athletics, transportation, health services, recreational activities, special interest groups or clubs sponsored by the school, and referrals to agencies that provide assistance and employment to K-12 student with disabilities.

If you think your K-12 student with disabilities needs special education services, you have to follow a legal process to make it happen. This process can involve several laws and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the most important one to understand. Mr. Cohen offers representation of K-12 students with disabilities in Kansas and Missouri.

For a no cost, no obligation consultation by email or phone: cac@studentrightslawyers.com or 785.979.7361

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