Are you the parent of a child in your school district who receives services for special education? Are you concerned about reports that schools all over the country are broke? Do you want to know how to keep your child safe from cuts? Then keep reading this article! You’ll learn how to make certain that your child continues to receive the necessary special education services in this article!
According to federal law, special education services cannot be cut due to a lack of funding because they are considered an entitlement. All necessary special education services for children with disabilities must be provided for free, and they must be. Parents may also be informed by some school districts that there are waiting lists for particular services. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004) also prohibits waiting lists. Therefore, the truth is that regardless of the cost or ability of the school district to pay for the services, children with disabilities are entitled to all special education services that they require.
You can fight to keep your child getting the services he or she needs in the following ways:
1. Collect evidence that your child still requires the services. Keep school papers, standardized tests, comments from teachers, and psychological evaluations from the school; any evidence that your child requires the services. Additionally, you can advocate for your child to receive more intensive special education services if they are not progressing academically.
2. Learn about IDEA 2004 so that you can use it as a weapon in your fight for your child!
3. Take into consideration sending your child in for an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) so that you will have the tools you need to fight off attempts by school administrators to reduce your child’s access to services! An IEE with a trained professional who will not only test your child but will also write a detailed report of all the services your child requires. This report can serve as proof that your child continues to require the services they are receiving at an IEP meeting.
4. You might want to think about submitting a state complaint to your state’s Department of Education in the event that your child is denied the necessary special education services or that those services are reduced. Even though State Departments of Education are supposed to look into the complaint, they rarely do. Therefore, you should include all of your evidence with your written complaint.
5. If you have a lot of evidence that your child needs the services but the staff at your child’s school won’t provide them or keeps saying they will cut the services, Think about requesting a hearing under due process. A hearing officer, not a judge, conducts this type of very formal hearing. However, if the parent files, the school district must hold a resolution meeting within 15 days to determine whether they can reach a compromise. A list of acceptable solutions to the dispute and, if possible, a special education advocate should accompany the parent to the meeting to resolve the conflict. A resolution must be written and signed by both parties if it is agreed upon.
If someone working in special education tells you that there won’t be enough money for your child’s services, don’t worry! As the advocate for your child, you can do things! Also, I would suggest getting in touch with a local newspaper to see if they would be interested in writing a story about your child and the cuts that are being proposed! Your child is counting on you, so good luck!