As a School Board Trustee, I have the “inside” knowledge of how School Districts handle their Special Education students, IEPs, CSE, Section 504 and Hearings. Now, as your advocate in fighting for your legal rights for your special needs child, I can help you in getting everything your child deserves.
I offer the following services:
- Obtaining and Understanding an Individualized Educational Programs (IEPs)
- Obtaining Funding for an Independent Education Evaluations (IEEs)
- Representation and Understanding the Committee on Special Education (CSE) annual meetings
- Obtaining Section 504 accommodations
- Education Litigation (Representation at Impartial Hearings)
- Tuition reimbursement
- Representation at Disciplinary Hearings
Committee on Special Education (CSE): Is a committee established by each School District to decide a host of issues involving your special needs child, including creating an Individualized Educational Program (IEP). The committee will include your child’s general education and special education teacher(s). It can also include a school psychologist, school administrators and other professionals. As a parent of a special needs child, you are included in the committee and you have certain rights.
Individualized Educational Programs (IEP): An IEP is a written document that must contain at least the following pieces of information: (1) Present level of educational performance; (2) Written measurable goals for the child to reasonably accomplish in one year; and (3) how to achieve those goals, through services or otherwise. It is important to note that an IEP is not a contract.
Independent Education Evaluations (IEE): An IEP is developed by the school, an IEE is an outside evaluation performed by an independent evaluator or agency. Parents have the right to obtain an IEE. However, school districts typically will not pay for an IEE.
Impartial Hearings: This is an administrative hearing, which is similar to a trial, as there is a dispute between a parent and the school about a child. The Impartial Hearing Officer will hear the evidence from both the parent and the school and make a decision. As a parent you have the right to have an attorney represent you at the Impartial Hearing.
Section 504: This is shorthand for a part of the Federal Law that deals with students with a disability. In this context, a disability typically means an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities (examples: walking, seeing, hearing, speaking or learning). A school district must provide reasonable accommodations that will allow students with disabilities to be able to benefit from attending school.
Independent Hearing Officers (IHOs): An Independent Hearing Officer is appointed by the School District (typically by the School Board) and is impartial person who conducts an administrative hearing regarding several issues, including special education issues. IHOs are paid by the School District. Although IHOs are not a judge, and do not even have to be an attorney, they act in the role of a judge, in that they will make a written decision.
Student Disciplinary Hearings: If a student is accused of violating school policy, whether that is for violence, drugs, bullying, cyber-bullying, or other types of disciplinary violations, the student has a right to a disciplinary hearing. Typically, a school official conducts the hearing. You have the right to have an attorney at your child’s disciplinary hearing.
David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, located in Northport and Uniondale, provides legal representation to parents and students with special needs and to students facing a disciplinary hearing.