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Urgent: Making due process affordable for parents of students with special needs

Photo Courtesy of Thomas Roche at Flickr.com
Make your voice heard on this important vote.

Call your representative tomorrow about the IDEA Fairness Restoration Act, H.R. 2740

The IDEA Fairness Restoration Act is a bill that is meant to make due process affordable for parents across America. As it stands today, parents who do not agree with the assessment of a school district can file for a due process hearing where they must prove that their child needs special services that are not being offered by the school.

Parents all over the country are crumbling under the weight of the legal fees that are incurred when they are forced into due process by schools who refuse to give children needed services. The costs of psychologists and technical experts can become a huge financial strain some families. On others, they are just too daunting to even begin the task of due process.

The school district also pays their experts fees for testimonies. However, these fees are paid for using school district tax money.

Consider these facts:

*Over 1/3 of children with disabilities live in families where the income is under $25,000 per year.

*Over 2/3 of these children live in families with an annual income of less than $50,000.

*Testimony of expert witnesses can cost thousands of dollars.

When a parent feels like there is nothing they can do or that there are insurmountable problems, such as cost, students are the ones who suffer. Schools who know that parents have no recourse, have little reason to work with those parents to make sure the children are receiving Free Appropriate Public Education that the IDEA is supposed to provide them.

So, here is how parents can take a stand and attempt to help level the playing field:

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

Call your representative and let them know that you support this bill and ask that they do also.

Here is where you find your representative's phone number.

If you are unable to call, you can also email your representative by clicking here.

For more information, please see Wrightslaw and their Call to Action page concerning this issue.

 

If you have an article idea to submit or a comment, please email Kindall Nelson at specialeducationexaminer@gmail.com

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Comments

  • angela 4 years ago

    This is imperative. The districts know very few parents can afford due process and this allows them to continue to violate IDEA. Until parents can afford to hold the districts accountable IDEA is just another piece of paper.

  • K Nelson - Author 4 years ago

    I know families who are waiting on this to go through. Without it they know there is no point in trying to make chnges at their children's school.

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