Special Education Action is a 501(c)3 nonprofit publisher covering special education.

Its mission is to ensure parents, educators, and students have the information and tools necessary to fully understand, address, and safeguard the unique needs of all students who require special education.

Recent Articles

“Big 8” Letter Requests Special Education Waivers; Children Put Behind 8 Ball

FCPS provided a document saved as “Lane Special Ed Letter”, in response to a FOIA request. The letter itself lists one waiver after another related to special education, as divisions “try to navigate the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Instead of requesting more supports to ensure provision of FAPE for students and to help teachers, the letter states, “Our goal is to reduce the administrative burden on special education staff . . . ”

“Hot Topics”

I received this internal “Hot Topics” Region 4 document in response to a FERPA request. I didn’t ask for it.

When I opened the file, I noticed tracked changes on the document. I clicked them and everything Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) incorrectly redacted popped up, to include names of students, their lawyers, monies paid, and so on.

The document including concerning information, to include FCPS acknowledging some of the very issues that I and other parents have complained about for year, such as failure to identify special education students, failure to implement programs related to Dyslexia with fidelity, and privacy violations.

Virginia Regulation Restricts Parent’s IEE Rights

Section 300.502 of IDEA 2004 does not state that the Local Education Agency (LEA) or the State, may 1) set a below-market price cap on the evaluations; 2) place limits on the the type of evaluation and the assessments within the evaluation; 3) nag parents to state the reason for their IEE request or put any other burden upon the parents; or 4) require the IEE provider to edit its evaluation upon request of the LEA or State.

However, Fairfax County Public Schools has done all of the above.

U.S. Dept. of Ed Investigates Virginia Dept. of Ed

June 23, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) released its report on an on-site monitoring visit conducted by OSEP on May 28 and 29 of 2019.

Problems identified by OSEP relate to complaints and due process, mediation, independent education evaluations, and overall monitoring failures.

It is curious that just two days later, OSEP released its “2020 Determination Letters on State Implementation of IDEA”, which lists Virginia as “Meets Requirements”.

How is it possible for VDOE to receive this rating?

Stressful to Stress-Free

Do This First

School paperwork breeds faster and in greater quantities than rabbits.

Buy a dozen binders and document separators, and file everything. That’s my big piece of advice to parents — that and stay calm.

Navigating the special education system is stressful on its own. While being organized won’t eliminate the stress, it will tilt it toward resting between the stressful and stress-free zones.