Dispute Over Your Child’s Education?

Education Law Attorney Explains Right to Free and Appropriate Education

Too often, schools do not do their part to make sure that every child receives a great education. After all, every child in California deserves an education. In fact, a free and appropriate public education is a constitutional right. You and your child have rights if you are facing a legal dispute involving your child’s education. However, it can be difficult to handle these disputes alone; the issue is likely emotionally charged and the school may not take adequate measures to address your concerns. Therefore, you can protect you and your child’s best interests with an education law attorney.

The topic of education is near and dear to our Gold River education law attorney, Brandon Erickson. He focuses a portion of his practice on California special education law. At Erickson Law Offices, our goal is to help every child receive the education that he or she deserves. We have years of experience helping clients work with schools to help their children thrive. As a result, we can help ensure that your child has the chance to realize their maximum potential. We are equipped to represent you in a wide variety of legal issues concerning special education.

What is an Individual Education Plan (IEP)?

If your child requires special considerations for his or her education, then you may need an Individual Education Plan (IEP). Put simply, an IEP is a legal document. It outlines all of your child’s educational needs. Furthermore, an IEP defines how a school can provide the necessary support for your child to receive an education. Usually, many parties are involved when coming up with an IEP. These parties include, but are not limited to, the child’s parents, doctors or other medical professionals, and education specialists.

While drafting the document, the involved parties will deliberate about the child’s educational and personal strengths and weaknesses. As a result, we can work to determine the best possible educational plan that will allow him or her to succeed. Developing an IEP can potentially be a stressful and complicated process. However, this is in your child’s best interests. An experienced education law attorney can help expedite the IEP process.

By law, an IEP must include the following:

  • Goals: Appropriate educational goals that your child can realistically meet every year. These may include state standards or adjusted goals based on ability.
  • Report: A progress report of how your child is currently doing in school in a traditional education system. This helps identify concerns.
  • Modifications: If necessary, any modifications or accommodations that need to be made by the school will be specified on the IEP. These specifications can include special testing accommodations for the child, for example.
  • Detailed Plans: You will need future reports. An IEP will state how a school will report to you and determine your child’s progress.
  • Support Documents: Forms of special education must be provided by the school. Other relevant support should also be provided.
  • Transition Planning: In many cases, “transition planning” can be arranged for teenagers about to graduate high school. This is meant to help the child with acclimating to life outside of school.

Does My Child’s School Have to Offer IEPs?

By law, all publicly funded schools must develop and implement IEPs for students who need them. Private schools are not held to the same standards; however, you may still have options if your child attends a private school and needs a special education plan. In some cases, your child’s public school district may be responsible for providing accommodations, even if your son or daughter attends private school.

Unfortunately, a school does not always voluntarily offer a deserving child an IEP. An education law attorney can work with you to convince the school to test your child in order to determine if he or she is eligible to receive special accommodations. In other cases, the school may provide an IEP, but does not want to provide the appropriate services that your child needs. In those cases, your attorney can attend the IEP drafting meeting with you to ensure the school agrees to all the terms.

Sometimes, a school may want to impose IEP services when they are not appropriate. In those cases, an education law attorney can work with you to help the school realize that an IEP is not appropriate. This may require working with the school directly and/or asking a California court to intervene. In many cases, we are able to work successfully with the school and reach an appropriate outcome that all parties can agree on. In some cases, however, you may need to go a step further. If a school refuses to do what is right for your child, then know that you have the right to file a court action. This often means review by a judge to determine if the school’s education plan meets special education law requirements.

Educational Dispute? Contact Our Special Education Law Attorney Now

Are you concerned that your child is not receiving a fair education? Questions about your child’s rights? In the United States, every student has the right to a free and appropriate public education. This is the case whether a student is a traditional student, is gifted or has special needs. Unfortunately, your child’s school may not be following laws and regulations. As a result, our education law attorney can help you mitigate risk.

If you think your child may need special education and is not getting it, then we can help. Alternatively, if you feel that your child’s special education plan does not accommodate his or her needs, then contact our Gold River office. Our firm can offer legal advice about what your school is legally required today. Call us today at 916-631-1540 to schedule a free consultation. At no cost to you, we can review the details of your claim and let you know how we can help.