Resolving Special Education Disputes
As a special education parent, you want what is best for our child. You want the teachers at the school to do what they can to provide your student with the support and services they need to succeed and transition to adulthood. When you and the schooldo not see eye to eye on issues related to your child's education, it may be necessary to consult an Arizona attorney with experience dealing with special education disputes.
At Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch, you will find Scottsdale attorneys who understand your concerns as a parent. We use our personal experience to help protect the rights of your child. We are an Arizona special education law firm that proudly represents students with disabilities and their families. Some people call us special ed parent advocates, but really what we do is work with youl, the parent, advocate for your child. As attorneys, we can explain your legal rights and your child's legal rights.
Compassionate Arizona Special Education Dispute Resolution Attorneys
If a school does not follow your child's IEP or otherwise violates the federal education law known as IDEA, it is up to the parents to enforce or attempt to correct violations. In most situations we have often found that a collaborative or mediative approach works best. In addition to being less costly, it is almost always less stressful on both children and parents.
Federal and state laws have a number of legal rights for parents of disabled students. These rights are often called procedural safeguards, and they are in place so that parents have the information necessary to be a part of the decision-making process for the IEP, make decisions about their child's education. The procedural safeguards also include a system for resolving disputes with the school system.
In general, parents of children with disabilities have the right to:
- Receive written notice of their rights
- Review and examine their child's educational records
- Obtain an independent educational evaluation
- Mediate the dispute with the school
- File a state complaint with the Arizona Department of Education
- Request a due process hearing or file a lawsuit
- Obtain compensatory education for their child with a disability
In some cases, parents may be able to transfer their child to a private school and have the school pay or reimburse the tuition costs. If this is something you are considering, it is critical to talk to an education attorney as soon as possible.
Filing a Request for a Due Process Hearing
When the cooperative approach to resolving a dispute does not work, one of the legal options available to parents is to file a request for a Due Process Hearing through the Arizona Department of Education. A due process hearing is similar to a court trial, but it is not held at the local courthouse. There are specific rules of evidence and procedures that must be followed that are different from other civil or juvenile cases. The due process hearing will likely include testimony and expert opinions from psychologists, doctors and other professionals about the specific needs of the student. Time periods for filing and the scheduling of hearings must be done within short time frames, so it is critical that you work with an attorney with experience representing parents at due process hearings.
Dedicated Arizona Lawyers for Special Education Due Process Hearings
For more information about how we can help your child, call our Arizona education law firm at 480-585-0600
orcontact our office online