A School Board Member’s Guide to Special Education
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School board members encounter a range of challenging issues as they provide oversight and strategic guidance for the school districts they represent. Some of the most daunting challenges can involve the education of students with disabilities. All children eligible for special education must be provided with a free and appropriate public education. There are no exceptions, even for students with severe and profound disabilities and even if budgets are tight. The courts have repeatedly held there are no exceptions to the law. All means all. School board members are likely to field parent complaints about their child’s special education program. Budget hearings also often include questions from the public about the costs of special education. The field of special education is by far the biggest area of litigation in education. Laws and regulations are complex and specific – a small inadvertent violation can quickly escalate into a larger problem. This book provides an essential overview of special education and the federal laws governing this area.