Special Ed Issues for 2012
LRP Publications, the company that publishes the IDEA Law Report, summarized anticipated special education issues for 2012 (Slater, 2012). They are funding, dangerous students, medical conditions, post secondary transition, and response to intervention.
Funding - Increased litigation could take place if parents believe that a district’s denial of services is based upon the need to lower school expenditures rather than the needs of the student, thereby denying FAPE.
Dangerous Students - This issue addresses the controversy over restraints for students considered to be a danger to themselves and others. Increased litigation has already increased in this area with more anticipated.
Medical conditions - Increased numbers of students have allergies and medical conditions, usually monitored by the Office for Civil Rights using Section 504. Schools question their obligation to have peanut or gluten free environments. Use of insulin and anti-seizure drugs involve personnel matters and possible placement outside of the neighborhood school, such conditions likely to be litigated within 2012.
Postsecondary transition - There are increasing disputes over the contents of transition plans that address future employment and social skills. More litigation is expected on the scope of transition plans.
Response to intervention - As the use of RTI increases, litigation will escalate over violations of child find, supported by the decline in the child count of special education over the last six years.