Special Education Law

About 6.5 million disabled students live in the United States, a figure that includes approximately 2.4 million children with learning disabilities and 800,000 with developmental delays and various degrees of autism. Others contend with significant physical disabilities, chronic illnesses, crippling anxiety, and other challenges.

When you meet with Jacobson & John LLP, The Education Lawyers, we’ll review the particular facts and circumstances of your child’s case to determine how we can best assist you. We can help advocate for your special needs child, whether that needs to happen during an IEP or 504 meeting at your child’s school or in a court proceeding. Call us for a consultation today.

If your child has a disability, identified or not, our experienced special education attorneys can help ensure that they get the special education support to which they are entitled.

Special Ed Students Guaranteed ‘Appropriate’ Education

Since the early 1970s, the idea has mandated that all eligible disabled students be provided with a free public school education that is appropriate for their educational needs. These protections are reinforced by the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, which prohibit disabled students from being excluded from any program or activity that receives federal financial assistance.

In recent years, however, the Pennsylvania Department of Education has tightened its purse strings and asked local school districts to carry an increased share of the financial responsibility for providing special education services. Some of those school districts, unfortunately, have tried to cope with the increased costs by making it more difficult for eligible children in their communities to gain access to the services they need. Other school districts simply refuse to think “outside the box.”

Children Pay the Price for Public Budget Woes

For example, the parents of a child who would be a clear candidate for an IEP in a neighboring school district might be told by their current school district that her difficulties or behaviors don’t warrant an IEP. Similarly, parents whose child does have an IEP may encounter resistance from a school district when requesting IEP revisions that could require additional support or services from district personnel.

A particularly upsetting phenomenon for the parents of children with disabilities is when those disabilities form the basis of a school district’s discrimination against their children. Students with disabilities have been disciplined, branded as “disruptive,” expelled, and even physically restrained in response to behaviors that are associated with their disabilities.

Federal and state laws protect students with special needs from being penalized for their disabilities. If this is happening to your child, the sympathetic, knowledgeable attorneys at Jacobson & John LLP can help.