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Subj:    THE SPECIAL ED ADVOCATE, FEBRUARY 7, 2000 (V. III, N. 5)
Date:    2/7/00 5:13:24 PM Pacific Standard Time
From:    pwright@wrightslaw.com (Pam & Pete Wright)
Sender:    owner-special-ed-advocate@wrightslaw.com
To:    special-ed-advocate@wrightslaw.com

The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter is sent by permission only. If you wish to unsubscribe at any time, please follow the directions at the end of this e-mail. Thanks!

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The Special Ed Advocate

The Online Newsletter About

Special Education and the Law

February 7, 2000 Vol. III, No. 5

Visit us today at http://www.wrightslaw.com

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The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education legal issues, cases, tactics and strategy, effective educational methods, and Internet links.

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1. UPDATE: IDEA COMPLIANCE REPORT

2. ANALYSIS OF SIX STATES: CALIFORNIA, ILLINOIS, NEW YORK, OREGON, TEXAS, VERMONT (PART III)

3. WHAT OTHER PARENTS ARE SAYING (PART II)

4. LINKS: IDEA COMPLIANCE REPORT

5. YOUR CHILD'S IEP: #1 ARTICLE IN JANUARY

6. NEWS BREAK! COURT OF APPEALS RULES THAT COLORADO CHILDREN NOT ENTITLED TO "QUALITY EDUCATION" (February 4, 2000)

7. SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION

8. CONTACT INFORMATION

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1. UPDATE: IDEA COMPLIANCE REPORT

On February 2, we sent out a newsletter about the new IDEA Compliance Report. We suggested that you BOOKMARK the TOC page.

http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/reports/IDEA_Compliance_Index.htm

We explained that when you returned to the TOC page, you'd see the "links" on this page fill in as we added new files.

If you returned to the TOC page during the past two days, you know that we've been uploading new files that contain the "meat" of this report.

HOW DOES YOUR STATE COMPARE?

How did your state compare? What are your state's strengths? Weaknesses?

You'll find answers to these questions in Part III of the IDEA Compliance Report (officially entitled "Grant Administration, Compliance Monitoring, Complaint Handling, and Enforcement
Functions").

We divided Part III into two files (3A and 3B) to reduce download time.

http://www.wrightslaw.com//law/reports/IDEA_Compliance_3A.html

http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/reports/IDEA_Compliance_3B.htm

SEARCH TIPS

Here are tips about how to find information about your state in this report:

Download the files into your hard drive. To find information about your state, open one of the files. Click "Edit" (on yourtoolbar), then click "Find in Page." Type the name of your state.
Click "Find Next" Here's how this works in practice. I opened the first file, clicked "Edit," then clicked "Find in Page." I typed in "California" and clicked "Find in Page."

The first "find" is Table 2: Status of Approval of IDEA Part B State Plans/State Plan Reviews for 1995-96, 1994-95, and 1993-94. I see that California got a "C" in each of these three years.
When I scroll down, I see that "C" doesn't mean "average" -- it means "conditional." California's state plan got "conditional   approval" for each of these three years.  I click "Find Next" for another "hit" on California and stop at "related services."

"OSEP found that 34 states (68%) had failed to ensure compliance with the related services requirements, as shown in the following examples:"

"In one district in California, an administrator told OSEP that there were 42 students whose IEPs called for speech services, but who were not receiving the services; in another district, an
administrator reported that students whose IEP teams believed they needed mental health services to benefit from special education were referred to outside agencies for the services,
rather than receiving the services free of charge through their IEPs.[129]"

When I click "Find Next" again, I skip to the LRE section of the report and read:

"Students with disabilities must participate with nondisabled peers in nonacademic and extracurricular activities and services to the maximum extent appropriate to their needs."

"OSEP found that 29 states (58%) had not ensured compliance with these requirements, as shown in the following examples:" "In California, three administrators reported that "students
identified as seriously emotionally disturbed who are served in a separate school program in the district, and students with disabilities who are served in the agency's preschool program
(separate school), are not provided adequate opportunities for integration with age appropriate peers, regardless of individual need. [These administrators] reported to OSEP that as a general
practice there was no individualized determination of the maximum extent to which each student with a disability placed in the separate school programs could participate with nondisabled children in nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities."[145]

When I click "Find Next" again, I skip to "Incarcerated Students." I read that:

"California Department of Corrections administrators responsible for educational programs in correctional facilities cited a recent study by that Department estimating that there are
6500-8500 youth with disabilities between the ages of 16 and 22 in the Department's facilities who would be eligible for special education and related services under current California law. They stated that the Department of Corrections currently offers adult basic education and literacy programs to assist inmates in attaining a high school diploma or high school graduation
equivalency diploma, and provides adult literacy offerings, but that special education services are not currently available in any of the 29 facilities that house youth between 16 and 22."[163]"

I click "Find Next" again, and skip to "Correction of Deficiencies."

"States must adopt and use proper methods for the correction of deficiencies in program operations that are identified through monitoring."

"OSEP found that 28 states (56%) had failed to ensure the correction of deficiencies identified through their monitoring processes."

"In California, OSEP noted that ". . . many deficiencies identified in agency F in CDE's [California Department of Education's] 1993 review and OSEP's 1991 review were uncorrected."

"CDE's follow-up review, however, only confirmed that public agencies had established policies and procedures that were consistent with the requirements . . .; CDE did not investigate
whether public agencies implemented these requirements, and OSEP found as part of its 1995 review that agency [F] continued to implement practices that were not consistent with these
requirements."[175]

I open the second file of Part III, click "Edit," click "Find," type in "California," then click "Find Next." This took me to "Analysis of Six States" which is a comprehensive analysis of six
states, including California.

"(a) California Three monitoring reports from California were analyzed: 1988, 1992, and 1996. As displayed in the following table . . . California came into compliance with only one of 10 requirements (10%) over time -- the requirement under general supervision, the review and approval of LEA applications. Of the nine that remained non-compliant, seven remained non-compliant for almost eight years, and two for four years."

The Analysis of California's noncompliance continues on for several paragraphs.

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2. ANALYSIS OF SIX STATES

If you live in one of these six states:

* CALIFORNIA *
* ILLINOIS *
* NEW YORK *
* OREGON *
* TEXAS *
* VERMONT *

you'll want to read "Analysis of Six States Over Time."

There's an old saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words." "Analysis of Six States" includes charts of "noncompliance over time" that are pretty valuable too!

Analysis of Six States is in Part III of the Report at

http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/reports/IDEA_Compliance_3B.htm

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3. WHAT OTHER PARENTS ARE SAYING (PART II)

Have you felt isolated? Powerless? Would you like to learn about the experiences of other parents of children with disabilities? Then you should read "Grassroots Perspectives on Noncompliance." (Part II of the Report)

Here are a few quotes from "Grassroots Perspectives":

"Every Parent Training and Information (PTI) center in the country hears daily about the toll taken on students whose educational needs are not being met and on parents who expend
incredible amounts of energy advocating for basic access to educational programs for their children."

"The stress of working with a recalcitrant school system that does not want to work with a parent to educate a disabled child can be tremendous."

"Parents have a reasonable expectation that the federal and state agencies charged with monitoring and enforcement will do their jobs."

THE NEED TO CREATE CONSEQUENCES

Most parents were "extremely frustrated by the lack of enforcement and skeptical" about when the law would be implemented and enforced.

One parent said, "There is no enforcement, no teeth. It's like making the speed limit on the highway 55 mph but taking away all of the police. Why do we have laws if no one is going to follow them?"

A parent advocate reported that at least 3 counties in GEORGIA "outright refuse to service students with disabilities under IDEA." Despite "repeated complaints, school districts take the
attitude of 'go ahead and try to make me.'"

"Although OSEP cited GEORGIA for this, it took the state TWO YEARS to respond to the report. As a result of this practice in GEORGIA, "students with learning disabilities are not learning to
read, are becoming frustrated, and are dropping out of school."

Download "Grassroots Perspectives" at --

http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/reports/IDEA_Compliance_2.htm

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4. LINKS : IDEA COMPLIANCE REPORT

Bookmark the Table of Contents or Index page at:

http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/reports/IDEA_Compliance_Index.htm

Part II is where you'll find out what other parents are saying about IDEA Compliance -- or lack of compliance!

http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/reports/IDEA_Compliance_2.htm

Part III is where you will find most of the information about individual states. Part III is divided into two files:

http://www.wrightslaw.com//law/reports/IDEA_Compliance_3A.html

http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/reports/IDEA_Compliance_3B.htm

"Endnotes" contains the references used in this report:

http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/reports/IDEA_Compliance_Endnotes.htm

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5. YOUR CHILD'S IEP: #1 ARTICLE IN JANUARY

"Your Child's IEP: Legal and Practical Guidance" was Wrightslaw's #1 download for January. This article was downloaded 8,737 times!  If you don't have "Your Child's IEP," go to

http://www.wrightslaw.com/advoc/articles/iep_guidance.html

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6. NEWS BREAK! COURT OF APPEALS RULES THAT COLORADO CHILDREN ARE NOT ENTITLED TO "QUALITY EDUCATION" (February 4, 2000)

"Feb. 4 - In a landmark ruling, the Colorado Court of Appeals said Thursday that parents cannot sue public school districts if they believe their children have been denied a quality education."

"The decision came out of a case involving more than 3,400 parents who sued Denver Public Schools, claiming the district shortchanged students by not providing a quality education,
especially for minorities."

"The lawsuit claimed that school districts had a "contractual duty" to provide a good education. But the court saw otherwise, saying if parents want change, they should force it at the ballot
box and not in the courtroom."

To read "Court flunks suit over school quality" by Howard Pankratz of the Denver Post, go to

http://www.denverpost.com/news/news0204f.htm

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7. SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION

The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education legal issues, cases, tactics and strategy, effective educational methods, and Internet links.

As a subscriber to The Special Ed Advocate, you will receive announcements and "alerts" about new cases and other events. Back issues of The Special Ed Advocate are in the Newsletter Archives at our web site -

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8. CONTACT INFORMATION

Pete and Pam Wright
c/o Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043
Phone: 804-257-0857

Website: http://www.wrightslaw.com
Email: webmaster@wrightslaw.com

The resources at this website are copyrighted by the authors.

They may be used for non-commercial purposes only. They may not be redistributed for commercial purposes without the express written consent of Peter W. D. Wright.

It is not necessary to obtain our consent to link to our website or copy, print and distribute our articles and newsletters for nonprofit purposes so long as the material is reproduced in its
entirety and credit is given to Pete and Pam Wright and "wrightslaw" including the URL -

http://www.wrightslaw.com

Copyright 2000, Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright. All rights reserved.

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