A School Board Member’s Guide to Special Education
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.
- Chapter 1: Understanding Special Education
- Chapter 2: Special Education Law Basics
- Chapter 3: Student Discipline
- Chapter 4: Assessment, Grades, and Graduation
- Chapter 5: Dispute Resolution and Students with Disabilities
- Chapter 6: Your Role as a Board Member and Special Education
David Bateman is a professor of special education at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. He has a B.A. in Government and Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia, a M.Ed. in Special Education from the College of William and Mary, and a Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Kansas. He was a special education classroom teacher for students with intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, emotional disturbance, and hearing impairments. He was a due process hearing officer for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for hundreds of due process hearings. He now works with school districts when they have been involved with special education litigation to learn from the hearing and to prevent future litigation. He is the co-author of the Principal’s Guide to Special Education and the Special Education Program Administrators Handbook. He posts regularly to the blog SPEDLAWBlog.com.
Jenifer Cline is the state special education director in Montana and has worked in the field of special education for 20 years. Her experience includes providing direct services to students, directing a special education cooperative, district-level special education administration, working in the state special education department, being active at the state and national level by serving as president of Montana Council of Administrators of Special Education (MCASE) and as secretary and on the professional development committee of CASE. In these roles Jenifer has experience working with teams, facilitating meetings, communicating effectively with constituents, and driving policy. Jenifer has presented on special education administrative topics