Our lawyers have substantial experience helping students and parents, as well as administrators and educators, navigate the complex legal aspects of our country’s education system.
We have a comprehensive understanding of the state, and federal educational system requirements that private and public schools must follow, and we can help ensure that you remain in compliance.
Representation of Parents at CSE Meetings
The Committee on Special Education (CSE) is a multidisciplinary team appointed by the Board of Education that is responsible for disabled students between the ages of 5 and 21. The CSE identifies students in need of service by developing Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and placing students in the least restrictive environment in which they can succeed.
The team annually reviews each child’s’ IEP and determines what programs would work best for the child. Parents can become involved in this process, and because it is influential for a child’s development, an attorney can help represent parents to make sure that a child receives the most suitable plan possible.
Advocacy for 504 and Individualized Education Plans (IEPs)
A 504 plan is a plan created to make sure that a disabled child attending an elementary or secondary school receives accommodations that provide access to the learning environment. 504 plans are helpful to both students and teachers and help to make sure that students with disabilities receive appropriate accommodations. 504 plans also provide educators with information about the specific needs of disabled students.
IEPs are plans that detail every aspect of a child’s special education. These plans function like guides of a child’s educational journey. IEPs specify the type of school setting that your child will have, the ratio of teachers to students in the child’s class, and the services that the child will receive over the school year. Parents have a role in creating 504 plans and IEPs, and it can be challenging to create the best possible plan for a child. Fortunately, an experienced education attorney can help.
Drafting of Due Process Hearing Requests
Due process hearing requests involve the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of a child with a disability or the provision of a free appropriate public education to the child. Hearing requests can be filed by parents or public agencies like school districts and begin a process that can result in a formal hearing.
Many times, these requests are filed when parents disagree with a child’s eligibility for special education. An experienced attorney can help file a hearing request and make sure that the requests include all necessary details.
Representation in Fair Hearing Process Including Appeals
The fair hearing process provides an opportunity to resolve special education disputes. During the hearing, parents present a child’s case, while the opposing side argues its side. Eventually, a decision is made in the same manner as a courtroom trial.
Also during these hearings, trained and impartial officers will act as a judge. Because these hearings are often complex and influence the child’s future, you might want an attorney to represent you.
Representation of Special Needs Students in Superintendent’s and Manifestation Hearings
A superintendent hearing is utilized to establish a method of discipline when a school district wants its student to be suspended for more than five days. Manifestation hearings are held when a child is removed for more than 10 days from school in a school year for behavior.
Manifestation hearings offer parents the opportunity to present evidence that a charge of misconduct is not supported by the facts, is a direct result of the child’s disability, is due to a failure by the school to implement a 504 plan or IEP, or that the charge does not require removal from the school. Not only do manifestation hearings follow strict procedures, but they also involve a narrow timeline. To navigate these complex hearings, the assistance of a knowledgeable education lawyer is often critical.
Representation of Non-Special Education Students in Disciplinary Matters
Schools must follow certain rules if they are attempting to expel or suspend a child as part of disciplinary action. This is why it is critical to retain the assistance of an attorney who can demand a hearing and make sure that the child’s rights are protected. Remember that if a school wants to discipline a student with anything more than a five-day suspension, you have the right to request a hearing.
In these situations, our experienced education lawyers can help create a strong legal defense and respond aggressively to defend against disciplinary actions. In many cases, we can negotiate an alternative punishment that does not as adversely impact a child’s school career or future goals.
Appeals of Superintendent’s Hearing Decisions Board of Education and the Commissioner of Education
If parents disagree with hearing decisions, they can appeal to the superintendent and then, if necessary, to the commissioner of education. While the opportunity to pursue these appeals increases the chances of obtaining a fair result in disciplinary matters, navigating the complex body of education law requires substantial knowledge.
An experienced attorney who has years of experience navigating disciplinary matters can help.
Representation and Defense of College Students in Disciplinary Matters Including Title IX
Students accused of Title IX violations are at risk of having their due process violated. Fortunately, a skilled education lawyer can make sure that these students have a strong defense in response to Title IX claims, which might include harassment, date rape, stalking, or domestic violence. Our lawyers believe that regardless of the severity of allegations against a student, everyone is entitled to a strong defense.
These cases often require the most experienced education lawyers because they carry serious penalties like expulsion, criminal charges, being denied admission to other schools, and could even result in challenges finding employment later in life.
Representation of College Students in Resolution of Academic Issues Including Dismissal From School
Some of the most common reasons for dismissal from schools are academic cheating, underperformance, and criminal offenses. A lawyer can help fight against these charges and will make sure that a student has the strongest defense possible to respond to these allegations.