The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ("IDEA") is federal legislation that requires every child with a disability to receive a free appropriate public education ("FAPE") at no cost to their parents. "Appropriate education" means that your child is entitled to receive a meaningful benefit from his/her educational placement and services. The California Education Code mirrors federal law and in some areas offers greater protection.
Unfortunately, many students who qualify for special education and related services are not receiving the "appropriate" type, duration and/or frequency of services. Under the IDEA, school districts do not have to maximize your child's potential… they need only provide a meaningful benefit. Often, parents and their school district will disagree on how much "benefit" is enough to meet the school district's burden under the law.
Currently, many if not all school districts in California are facing serious funding shortfalls. This has led to many families finding themselves at odds with their school district over what is a necessary and required service for their child. School districts rarely point to lack of funding for denying a service, but in reality it is a big part of a school district's decision making process. However, the school district is obligated under the law to provide the appropriate special education program and related services that are designed to meet your child's unique needs. If your child requires services the school district does not and cannot offer the school district is obligated to contract with a private agency to provide such programs or services.
CSNLG can help your child receive the services they require to access their curriculum and benefit from his/her education.