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Court Decision Calls Out School District Excuses

By Rosa K. Hirji, Esq. On February 27, 2017, the 9th Circuit issued a decision, L.J. v. Pittsburg Unified Schl. Dist. that put an end to the Pittsburg Unified School District’s myriad of excuses for excluding a child from special education. L.J. was an elementary school student with the Pittsburg Unified School District in northern California who began to exhibit suicidal tendencies in …

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Regulating Ethnic & Disciplinary Disproportionality in Special Education

by Justyn Howard, Esq. There has been a concerning trend within special education programs nationwide revolving around the overrepresentation of students of color within the special education population.  Even more disturbing is the reporting of how often these students of color are disproportionately and unfairly disciplined. Former U.S. Secretary of Education, John B. King Jr.’s amendment to the regulations under …

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Lessons from Professor Dumbledore

By Rosa K. Hirji If it wasn’t for Professor Dumbledore, Principal of Hogwarts, Harry Potter would have been expelled during his first year. Even worse, he could have been imprisoned in Azkaban with his soul sucked out by Dementors. After all, Harry broke rules every chance he got – from sneaking around the corridors, leaving grounds without permission, talking back to …

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Psychiatric Medication Overprescribed

Drugging our Kids; Children in California’s foster care system are prescribed unproven, risky medications at alarming rates. – The Mercury News, 2014. This is an important article for all parents of special needs children, all parents and citizens of the world. In it, the author describes the how the State of California prescribes psychiatric drugs to children in the foster …

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Eligibility Under the Lanterman Act

There are three categories for services under the Lanterman Act: People who meet the Lanterman Act’s definition of developmental disability People who are at high risk of having a child with a developmental disability Babies and children under age 3 who are at risk of becoming developmentally disabled A “developmental disability” is a disability that starts before age 18, is …

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Morgan Hill-Student Records Disclosure

Recently, there has been a lot of information being disseminated about the disclosure of student records through the Morgan Hill Concerned Parents Association v. California Department of Education, Case No. 11-3471. To provide some clarity, the co-chairs of the California Association Parent Child Advocacy (“CAPCA”) have released a memorandum to assist informing parents about this lawsuit and the information being …

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Hold Your New District Accountable

Is your child starting off this school year in a new school district?  Are you wondering how this change will affect your child’s educational program or IEP?  We understand the transition to a new school and district is not always easy.  This blog should provide some ease and guidance for parents going through this process.  Here are a few things …

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Protect Your Allergic Child At School

As we are all aware, allergies including severe, life-threatening ones have become the norm rather than the exception in recent years.  As a result, parents have begun asking school districts to make sure that school is a safe learning environment for their child. If you have a child with allergies, he or she may qualify for protection under Section 504 …

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Eligibility for Special Education

Federal and state laws require that students be found eligible for special education prior to obtaining services. The student must meet eligibility criteria in one or more of the following categories: Children between three and six years old experiencing developmental delays Children between six years old and eighteen years old with the following: Language and speech disorder Specific Learning Disability …