Special Education Law

If your child is found to be eligible for special education services by your school district following an assessment, then he or she may be entitled to either a Section 504 plan or an Individualized Education Program (IEP). IEPs and 504 plans are designed to meet the child's unique needs so that the child may make measurable gains within a year's time. 

Some reasons you may need assistance are if: 
  • you cannot reach agreement at the IEP meeting about the type of classroom, services or accommodations your child receives 
  • your child is not making appropriate progress 
  • the school district will not make a requested change to the IEP 
  • the school district is failing to comply with the IEP
  • teachers or staff at your child's school are discriminating against your child because of his or her disability

If your child has a documented disability and yet the school district will not provide assessment, or concludes that your child is not eligible for a 504 plan or an IEP, the law provides steps that can be taken to review that decision.

How we can help

The rules and laws regulating education are complicated and ever changing. School districts have budget considerations and at times make decisions that do not provide an appropriate education for students with special needs. For that reason, many parents find it difficult to get assessments, accommodations and services to meet their child's unique needs without the assistance of an attorney or advocate. Educational law is very specialized and it is crucial to partner with an attorney that has a comprehensive knowledge of these practice areas.
  • Placement/service determination 
  • Negotiations with school districts 
  • Mediation representation 
  • IEP representation 
  • Due process hearings

Placement/service determination is the process of determining what is an appropriate educational setting for your disabled child, as well as the services and/or accommodations the school district should provide. Often, in order to have a school district provide an appropriate education, an attorney negotiates with the school district, either with a letter to the school district or at an IEP meeting. If the school district will not come to an agreement, then a written complaint (Due Process Complaint) can be filed with the California Office of Administrative Hearings - Special Education Division. 

We do not charge for our initial consultation. The process starts with a free phone call to get a general idea of your situation. The special education laws provide that parents who win in the due process hearing may be entitled to have their reasonable attorney fees paid by the school district. This fee provision allows us to charge low income clients reduced or lower fees in cases where a due process request is filed.

Special Education News