The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law that makes available a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to eligible children with disabilities throughout the nation and ensures special education and related services to those children. The recommended special education, and related services for children to achieve desired goals, are detailed in individualized educational programs (IEP). The IEP for each child is a collaborative effort of the local school district and parents.
In 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States, in Endrew. F. v. Douglas County School District RE-1 held that “the degree of progress contemplated by the IEP or [individualized educational program] must be appropriate in light of the child's circumstance.” Therefore, the IEP can be developed only after careful consideration of the child's present levels of achievement, disability, and potential for growth. In light of this ruling, school districts should foster a more collaborative approach with parents in special education to confront and resolve disputes about special education services. Parents need to have an achievable plan for the child's needs, not the district's resources, or the parents' expectations. Both IEP team members and parents should be advocates for the best interest of the students with disabilities.
This program will discuss best practices in developing and implementing an IP to produce progression, avoid regression, and support the child’s educational interests. The course is designed to benefit attorneys who are advocating for students with special education needs, as well as attorneys who are advising schools, school districts, and administrators on their rights and responsibilities towards students with disabilities.