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New Bullying Prevention Directives from OSERS

Wednesday, 21 August 2013 14:35

classroomThe U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) has recently restated its commitment to preventing bullying in schools. In a “Dear Colleague” letter issued on August 20, 2013, OSERS has once again stressed, as it has in that past, that “bullying of a student with a disability that results in the student not receiving meaningful educational benefits constitutes a denial of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).” As a practical matter, what this means is that if bullying of a child with a disability is so intensive and pervasive that she can’t make appropriate progress in school, the school district must find a remedy to stop the bullying. This can be done through an IEP meeting or through IDEA’s enforcement procedures, such as due process.

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OSEP Expands Enforcement of Special Education Rights

Thursday, 18 August 2011 15:09

school_suppliesIf a parent discovers a school district violated education rights after the student has ceased receiving special education services in that district, a remedy may still be available.

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Federal Education Law Protects Gifted Students with Disabilities

Tuesday, 12 October 2010 12:10

classroomThe U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has recently issued guidance affirming that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) protects intellectually gifted students who have qualifying disabilities and need special education services.  This is good news for parents of children with high I.Q.s who nevertheless struggle with attention, social skills, writing, and/or basic reading skills such as decoding and reading fluency, among other problems.

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Successfully Appealing Medicaid Waiver Service Reductions

Monday, 02 August 2010 09:49

girl_with_glassesMany children with severe or complex disabilities benefit from special Medicaid programs that enable them to receive services at home.  These programs are called “Waivers” because they “waive” consideration of parental income and resources in determining the child’s financial eligibility for Medicaid, relaxing Medicaid’s otherwise strict financial eligibility rules.   The policy rationale for these programs is to enable families to avoid institutionalizing their severely disabled children who, under regular rules, would be eligible for Medicaid only if living in an institution.  Home based care is usually better for children, and it is also usually less expensive for the Medicaid program. 

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