Dealing with School Districts & Advocating for Your Rights
Is your child's public school failing to adapt to the pandemic in order to meet your child's needs?
School districts have their own policies and practices for managing special education services. School districts have a tendency to think with their purses. It is perhaps understandable, but by no means justifiable, that a school district might make important decisions about a child's education based on the resources it has available and not based on the individual needs of that child regardless of cost. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has previously recognized that "school districts striving to balance their budgets, if left to their own devices, will favor education options that enable them to conserve resources."
It is now well-established that a school district's obligation is to provide children with disabilities with interventions and supports according to the unique needs of those children, and not based on administrative convenience or what resources the school district has available. The Second Circuit Court has stated that a school district "may select the specific school without the advice of the parents so long as it conforms to the program offered in the IEP."
The Southern District of New York (SDNY) considered a parent's claim for private school funding as a result of the district's conceded failure to provide an appropriate public school education. The school district admitted it did not do its job, but still did not want to pay for the child’s special education services. The Court addressed a number of issues, including whether a parent's financial need and inability to fund the cost of a private placement should bar an award of funding for the private program. In the case of Mr. and Mrs. A. v. NYC Department of Education, the SDNY considered this issue and determined that, where parents lack the financial resources to front the costs of private school tuition, parents who satisfy all other factors have a right to retroactive direct tuition payment relief.
If a special needs parent disagrees with the education services provided by their school district, under federal law a student with a disability is allowed to stay at his/her "last agreed upon placement" while due process proceedings are pending. If the last agreed upon placement is a private school, the school district must pay for the costs of the child's education at that private school for as long as the private school is the last agreed upon placement.
If you are not satisfied with the education services and programs provided by your school district for your child with a disability or delay, a special education lawyer can help make sure that your child’s rights are protected by the education system.
Our law offices will help you fight for and protect the education rights of your child. Raising a child with special needs is difficult. Protecting their education rights should not be. As a parent, you instinctively know when your child needs help. You see the true potential of a child eager to learn, in spite of a disability. When you retain our law office to protect your child’s legal rights, we work with school districts to get the services your child needs:
● Initial special education referrals to local school districts
● Public testing and evaluation
● Meetings with the Committee on Special Education (CSE)
● Meetings with the Preschool Committee on Special Education (CPSE)
● Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)
● Deferrals to the Central Based Support Team (CBST)
● “Nickerson” letters
● Extended School Year services
● Functional Behavior Assessments
● Behavioral Intervention Plans
● Manifestation Determination Reviews
● Individualized Education Service Plans (IESPs)
● Independent Educational Evaluations (IEEs)
Retaining legal counsel to deal with your school district and advocate for your rights demonstrates serious intent and urgency, which makes school administrators more likely to resolve differences. The Law Offices of Adam Dayan has a reputation for quickly resolving disputes in a tactful, non-confrontational style, when possible. Our methods earn respect and results. If your child’s education rights are violated, we experienced litigators will fight aggressively for your child’s education rights in the courts.