Connecticut Education Law Blog

Connecticut Education Law Blog

Category Archives: Special Education

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OCR Publications Clarify District Obligations to Student with ADHD under Section 504

Posted in Regular Education, Special Education
School is back in session once again, and districts are confronting the perennial challenge of educating students with a multitude of physical, cognitive and behavioral limitations. Among these conditions, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) stands out in both its ubiquity and its potential to thrust parents and school districts into conflict over appropriate educational programming.… Continue Reading

IEP’s Must Align with State Academic Content Standards

Posted in Special Education
On November 16, 2015, the Department of Education issued a Dear Colleague Letter providing guidance concerning the alignment of an individualized education program (IEP) with the state standards for academic grade-level content. The Department of Education stated that in adhering to federal laws requiring that all students within a state have the same academic content… Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Education Issues Guidance Regarding Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, and Dysgraphia

Posted in Special Education
On October 23, 2015, the Department of Education issued a Dear Colleague Letter providing guidance on the unique educational needs of students with dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia. Despite generalized hesitancy to use these specific conditions in the evaluation and individualized education program (IEP) process, the U.S. Department of Education stated that there is nothing in… Continue Reading

New Standard Proposed by EDNY for IEP’s of Bullied Special Needs Students

Posted in Special Education, Student Matters
In a decision issued July 24, 2014, Senior United States District Court Judge Jack Weinstein has authored an opinion proposing a new standard for evaluating whether the IEP of a special education student who has experienced bullying provides that student with a free appropriate public education (FAPE).  In T.K. v. New York City Dept. of… Continue Reading

New Guidance Released on Bullying as Related to Students with Disabilities

Posted in Special Education
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (“OSERS”) published a new “Dear Colleague” letter in August which discusses best practices for handling of bullying cases involving a student with a disability.  The letter describes that the bullying of a student with a disability that results in the student not receiving meaningful educational benefit constitutes a… Continue Reading

IEE’s, Residential Placement, Failure to Provide FAPE Addressed in Plainville Court Decision

Posted in Special Education
In a decision issued March 31, 2012, a United States District Court judge has rejected the appeal of the Plainville, Connecticut board of education from a hearing officer’s ruling mandating reimbursement for residential placement at the F.L. Chamberlain School in Massachusetts.  In Plainville Board of Education v. R.N. by Mrs. H., 112 LRP 16721 (D.… Continue Reading


Posted in Labor and Employment, Special Education
In a move that seemed to defy logic, the Connecticut Education Association (CEA) on behalf of its local affiliate the Milford Education Association, filed a complaint claiming that a popular software program, specifically designed to make easier the process of completing paperwork following a Planning and Placement Team meeting (PPT) for a special education student,… Continue Reading

OSEP Says Don’t Insist on RTI Evidence Before Evaluating Private School Students for Learning Disabilities

Posted in Special Education
A recent letter issued by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) calls into question the practice of denying a request to evaluate a student for potential learning disabilities based upon the failure of the private school where the child attends to conduct Response to Intervention (RTI) activities (or, as we in Connecticut call it,… Continue Reading

Connecticut Supreme Court Addresses Whether Mid-Year Increase in Teacher Workload Constitutes Unilateral Change of Condition of Employment

Posted in Labor and Employment, Regular Education, Special Education
In a decision released by the Connecticut Supreme Court on November 16, 2010, Board of Education of Region 16 v. State Board of Labor Relations et al., Region 16 appealed to the Superior Court challenging a decision by the state board of labor relations (“SBLR”) which concluded that the school district had unilaterally changed a… Continue Reading

Doctor’s Claim of Student Disability Due to Mold Allergy Rejected

Posted in Special Education
In a decision released Monday by the State of Connecticut Department of Education, Case No. 09-552, a hearing officer found a student with asthma and allergies triggered by various environmental allergens, including mold and pollen, was not eligible for special education services under the category of Other Health Impaired (OHI).  The student, a senior in… Continue Reading

CT DOE Circulates Draft Revised Special Education Regulations

Posted in Special Education
In June 2007, the CT DOE started the process of revising the state special education regulations, and circulated its proposals for public comment.  Based on the responses, the Department decided to revise its proposal and restart the review process.  A new draft has emerged, dated February 3, 2010.  According to the accompanying memorandum from Commissioner… Continue Reading

OCR: No Special Education Notation on School Transcripts

Posted in Special Education
OCR’s guidance letter issued October 17, 2008 In Re: Report Cards and Transcripts for Students with Disabilities, 108 LRP 60114 (OCR 2008) clarifies that references to special education services received by a student are acceptable on report cards intended for parent use in measuring student progress, but not acceptable on transcripts that may be disclosed… Continue Reading

Forest Grove Case Drops Other Shoe

Posted in Special Education
In a decision filed December 8, 2009, the United States District Court for the District of Oregon issued a ruling in the case that went all the way to the United States Supreme Court and back on the issue of whether a school district could be liable for tuition reimbursement to a private school in… Continue Reading

AG’s Office Issues Report to Education Committee Re: BCBA Certification

Posted in Special Education
In a report issued January 13, 2010, the Attorney General’s office recommended "as a first step toward full licensure through the Department of Public Health" that the Education Committee of the Connecticut Legislature support one of three options for licensure or certification of behavior analysts operating within Connecticut school districts.  According to the AG’s Office… Continue Reading

Second Circuit Decision: Failure to Name Specific School Not a Procedural Violation for IEP

Posted in Special Education
In a new decision issued October 9, 2009, T.Y. v. New York City Dept. of Education, 109 LRP 63646 (2d Cir. 2009), the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that it is not a procedural violation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for the IEP not to name a specific school that is recommended for… Continue Reading

Much Ado About Nothing

Posted in Special Education
The Supreme Court ruling in the Forest Grove School District v. T.A. case was released this week.  Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see this ruling as changing much of anything in the world of special education disputes, at least as far as Connecticut is concerned.  Essentially, the Supreme Court ruled that 20 U.S.C.… Continue Reading

SB 1142 Gutted By Education Committee

Posted in Special Education
In a vote taken April 1, 2009, all 30 of the committee members of the Joint Committee on Education present and voting voted in favor of SB 1142, An Act Concerning State Mandates on School Districts (two members were absent).  However, substitute bill language was adopted by the committee addressing only the issue of the… Continue Reading

SOAPBOX ALERT: Express Support to the Education Committee for SB 1142

Posted in Special Education
Educators and other interested parties may wish to contact the Education Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly to express support for SB 1142, An Act Concerning Relief of State Mandates on School Districts.  Among other provisions, this bill would finally bring Connecticut in line with other states and with the 2005 United States Supreme Court… Continue Reading

More Tips for Surviving SDOE Compliance Investigations

Posted in Special Education
For our special education administrator friends, figuring out how to comply with the state and federal special education regulations and proving that to the Bureau of Special Education is no easy task.  Just when you think you have all the rules figured out, the "interpreters" of the regulations manage to invent new requirements.  So, a couple of tips culled… Continue Reading

9th Circuit Decision Calls into Question 45-Day Evaluation Timeline

Posted in Special Education
A decision recently issued by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in J.G. v. Douglas County School District, 108 LRP 71106 (9th Cir. 2008), calls into question the validity of relying on the 45-school-day evaluation timeline in the state special education regulations for the completion of an initial special education evaluation as "reasonable".  In this… Continue Reading

IDEA Regulations Revised to Allow Revocation of Parental Consent for Special Education

Posted in Special Education
Effective December 31, 2008, parents will be able to revoke consent for special education services and school districts will not be able to challenge the decision through mediation or due process.  In their comments to the new regulations, United States Department of Education officials explained that they believe that the right to revoke consent for… Continue Reading