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Call to Action: We can’t expect fairness when we do nothing about it when it’s taken away

August 20, 2012 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Dennise Goldberg

Dear Members of Congress;

Today all over the United States children with a disability are not being provided an appropriate education via their Individualized Education Program (IEP).  While there are many wonderful School Districts there are some that are skirting their responsibility because they know they can get away with it.  In these troubled economic times some School Districts are cutting necessary services as a cost saving method knowing that many parents don’t have the means to disagree and file a complaint.  The law that governs special education in the United States, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was not meant to shift the balance of power to the school districts but that is what has happened.  The fairness was taken from IDEA in 2006 and it’s time to give it back and level the playing field for parents. Read the rest of this entry →

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IDEA Fairness Restoration Act: Will the Third Time finally be the Charm

March 23, 2011 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

It’s that time of year again, birds are chirping, bees are buzzing and the latest introduction of the IDEA Fairness Restoration Act has just occurred.  This is an important Bill for Parents who are trying to exercise their Due Process Rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  Why is that?  The Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that while Parents can be reimbursed for Attorney Fees, if they prevail, they can’t be reimbursed for Expert Witness Fees.  This puts Parents at a major disadvantage to all of the School Districts who already employee these types of specialists.  The Supreme Court has also ruled in the past that the “Burden of Proof” in any IDEA related case is on the Party that files.  This means that when a Parent files a Due Process complaint they must prove their case or the Hearing Officer must assume the School District is in the right.  You can only prove your case with facts and testimony from Experts in the field.  Parents are spending thousands of dollars to hire Expert witnesses to assess their children and testify at the Hearings on their behalf.  The IDEA Fairness Restoration Act would add to IDEA that Expert Witness fees could be reimbursed to Parents who prevail in a Due Process Hearing. Read the rest of this entry →

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