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School Kids Lawyer

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Special Education Law Tips

This month's 2 Things that will help your child with school

Since we know that parents of special needs kids don't have a ton of spare time, our newsletter is designed to be short but sweet.  We hope these 2 Things are helpful and if you know someone who will also benefit from these tips, please feel free to pass it along.  Thank you from all of us at SchoolKidsLawyer.com!

Thing 1: The 75 Day Rule
Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the main special education law, the parties are supposed to receive a final written decision within 75 days of filing their Due Process Complaint.  The only exception to that rule is if there is a good reason for a delay explained by either party, such as a medical reason, death in the family, or key witnesses are unavailable.  The 75 day period is broken up into two parts: (1) the first 30 days after filing, known as the "resolution period," when the parties should attempt to settle the case; and (2) if the case doesn't settle, the decision should come from the hearing officer within 45 days after the resolution period expires. If your case is not resolved in 75 days, your State Department of Education is violating federal law.  Contact my office to learn what to do about it.
Thing 2: What's a FERPA?
No, this isn't the new fad toy for Christmas or Channukah or a creature from the movie Gremlins.  FERPA stands for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and is a very important federal law. It says that until your child reaches 18, as the parents you have an absolute right to see everything that is in your child's school records.  At 18, that right is transferred to your child, but he/she can sign papers giving you access to the documents.  In special education, these documents are critical because they will often hold the clues as to whether your child is receiving the services he/she should be.  The school does not have the right to determine what you can or cannot see; federal law is clear on this.  If you need help getting access to these documents or your child's school is making it difficult, call our office.
Copyright © 2015 Thurston Law Offices LLC, All rights reserved.


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