The Oldest Blog
A first amendment blog for school administrators and attorneys.
Research shows that students of color, boys, and students with disabilities are more likely to experience disciplinary removals than their peers. Indeed, black students with disabilities are more than twice as likely as peers to be suspended out of school or expelled, and the rates in Texas are even higher. Exclusionary discipline means missed instructional time and is associated with an increased likelihood of dropping out of school and interaction with the criminal justice system. These disparities are troubling both for student outcomes and for district legal liability.
This summer, we posted about comprehensive guidance on discipline and students with disabilities from the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS). We continue to anticipate guidance from the Department of Education and Department of Justice related to student discipline and race under Title VI. In the meantime, we want to talk about the intersection of disability and race: significant disproportionality.
The post Disability, Race, and Discipline. What do you know about significant disproportionality? appeared first on Special Education Spotlight.
Why Kennedy v. Bremerton School District was Not the Case that Some Judges Thought It Was
The post A Tale of Two Football Fields: Kennedy v. Bremerton School District appeared first on The Oldest Blog.
It’s no secret that the current majority on the United States Supreme Court is focused on expanding certain religious liberties.
In Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, the Court significantly expanded religious freedoms in the First Amendment context when it held that a school district could not discipline a football coach for publicly engaging in prayer on the football field immediately after games. The Court’s opinion rejected decades’ worth of cases that had attempted to balance the competing rights secured by the Free Exercise Clause and the Establishment Clause, and also demonstrated the majority’s willingness to cherry-pick the facts of a case when analyzing religious freedoms.
On Wednesday, January 18, 2023, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Perez v. Sturgis Public Schools, a case out of Michigan (Sixth Circuit) involving the administrative exhaustion doctrine under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) Before the Court were two important issues: (1) whether parents can avoid having to exhaust their administrative remedies under the IDEA (by filing for and litigating a due process hearing) by asking for monetary damages in a lawsuit brought under a different statute (such as Section 504 or the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”)); and (2) whether settling a due process hearing constitutes “exhaustion” of the administrative process, such that parents who have settled with the school could then file a subsequent Section 504 or ADA lawsuit. Some of these issues – particularly whether asking for monetary damages essentially negates the exhaustion requirement – were left over from the Court’s previous exhaustion decision in Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools.
The post The Supreme Court Reconsiders the IDEA Exhaustion Doctrine appeared first on Special Education Spotlight.
We are barely into 2023, and it’s shaping up to be the biggest year yet for Title IX. From transgender bathroom bans and athletic participation battles to growing scrutiny on general athletics equity and pregnant and parenting students, Title IX will continue to have its moment in the sun in 2023 as it has for the past few years. Of course, the biggest news for Title IX in 2023 will undoubtedly be the issuance of the Biden administration’s new Title IX rule. The Department of Education recently confirmed that it intends to hoist the new regulation on schools in May 2023. Schools, colleges, and universities will once again have to comply with an entirely new grievance structure quickly over the summer.
Those who spent the summer of 2020 scrambling to prepare for the 2020 Title IX rules know that implementing new rules over the summer is a huge feat. If you haven’t already resolved to begin preparing now to be ready for that process when it comes, you should! Like any other New Year’s resolution, there is a risk of giving up without a plan. Don’t have one? Don’t worry. The Thompson & Horton Title IX team has you covered. Keep reading for the essential action plan to help you achieve your Title IX goals in the New Year.
The post How to Make—and Keep—a Resolution to Prepare for the New Title IX Rules appeared first on Title IX Tips.
Over the summer, we posted about the importance of and tips for successful IEP implementation and progress monitoring. Today, we continue a series of articles focused on the components of a great IEP. In this post, we will discuss the foundation of the IEP: the statement of present levels of academic achievement and functional performance (PLAAFP).
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandates that IEPs include a statement of PLAAFP. If you’ve ever attended an ARD, you know that this statement is one of the first things covered. And with good reason: the statement of PLAAFP provides an overview of the student’s current functioning and baseline for new goals. Without a clear, specific, and individualized statement of PLAAFP, the IEP may be deficient. Keep reading to learn steps to ensure that every IEP is built on a solid PLAAFP foundation.
The post IEP Spotlight: Statement of PLAAFP and Why it’s so Important appeared first on Special Education Spotlight.