Each child has the right to a full and fair educational experience, regardless of their abilities. Special education students in California are entitled to support and assistance in the classroom, and parents have the right to advocate on behalf of their children. It can be difficult to ensure that a child has what they need for their education, and there can be disagreements between parents and schools about how to move forward.
Fighting for a child’s rights
If a child has a disability, they may also have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). This is a plan designed to suit the individual needs of the student, providing the supports and services necessary to make progress in school. Schools don’t always follow the terms of the IEP, and they may not provide a student with needed services and accommodations.
When parents and the school disagree regarding what a child requires to make appropriate education progress, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides a way to resolve these disputes. Through a due process hearing, a parent can file a complaint. In California, that complaint is filed with the Office of Adminstrative Hearings (OAH). Typically, the parties participate in settlement meetings including a resolution session and mediation. If the due process matter is not able to be resolved, there will be a due process hearing. Much like a trial, there will be evidence presented and witnesses who testify.
Parents don’t have to fight alone
A parent does not have to fight for a child’s educational rights alone. It may be beneficial to work with an experienced California special education attorney when facing a due process hearing or fighting for a child’s educational rights. A parent has the right to seek this support.