California Special Education Law 101: Overview, IDEA, and impact of Covid-19

Krista J. Martinelli
Eli R. Economou
F. Richard Ruderman
Krista J. Martinelli | IEP Collaborative, Inc.
Eli R. Economou | Economou Law Group, Inc.
F. Richard Ruderman | Ruderman & Knox, LLP Attorneys at Law

Live Video-Broadcast: February 16, 2022

California Special Education Law 101: Overview, IDEA, and impact of Covid-19
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Program Summary

Session I – Establishing the Framework of Special Education Law - Krista Martinelli

This topic will survey the framework of special education law and is intended to provide attorneys with an overview and understanding of its structure, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 20 U.S.C. § 1400, et seq., and related federal and state laws, rules, and regulations, including California Education Code Title 2, Div. 4, Pt. 30, Ch. 4, and The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Section 504 (Section 504) 29 U.S.C. § 701 et seq.

The topic will also include a review of COVID-19's impact on legislation and recent guidance from both the California Department of Education (CDE) and the United States Department of Education (US DOE) Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS). The topic will close with an exploration of post-COVID-19 case law and developments relevant to the Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) standard to which students with disabilities are entitled.

Key Topics:

• The IDEA.
• Section 504.
• California Education Code.
• Recent CA Ed Code Amendments & US DOE OSERS Guidance to address COVID-19 Education-related challenges and recovery.
• ENDREW F FAPE Standard 9th Circuit statement in MC v ANTELOPE Valley and lineage.

Session II – Section 504 Plan Documentation in The Covid-19 Era: What You Need to Know - Krista Martinelli

This topic will survey The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Section 504 (Section 504) 29 U.S.C. § 701 et seq. Entitlement and Eligibility requirements will be reviewed. Development and implementation of an appropriate Section 504 Plan will also be discussed. The topic will close with an exploration of post-COVID-19 impacts on Section 504 Plan implementation.

Key Topics:

• Section 504 Survey and Review.
• Establishing Entitlement & Eligibility: Diagnoses/Evaluation.
• Development and Implementation of an Appropriate Section 504 Plan.
• COVID-19 School Concerns and their Impact on 504 Plans.

Session III – Unraveling the Requirements of The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) – Eli R. Economou

Attorneys can expect to learn a broad base of special education advocacy under the IDEA.

Key Topics:

• Child Find / Initial Assessment
• IEPs (Present Levels, Goals, Offer of Placement and Service)
• Challenging Assessment and IEP
• Brief due process overview

Session IV– Successfully Handling Disciplinary Actions for Special Needs Students – Eli R. Economou

Attorneys can expect to learn what to look for in terms of disciplinary violations for children qualified to receive special education services, as well as how to effectively challenge disciplinary proceedings.

Key Topics:

• Manifestation Determination IEPs / Requirements
• Expulsion Hearings
• Basis of Knowledge
• Interim Alternative Educational Placements

Session V - Representing Children with Special Needs and Their Parents - Richard Ruderman

• Preparing for hearing and litigating due process complaints
• Who is the client? The parents of the student.
• Independent assessments and school observations
• Least restrictive environment and inclusion

This course is co-sponsored with myLawCLE.

Date / Time: February 16, 2022

  • 12:00 pm – 7:10 pm Eastern
  • 11:00 am – 6:10 pm Central
  • 10:00 am – 5:10 pm Mountain
  • 9:00 am – 4:10 pm Pacific

Choose a format:

Live Video Broadcast/Re-Broadcast: Watch Program "live" in real-time, must sign-in and watch program on date and time set above. May ask questions during presentation via chat box. Qualifies for "live" CLE credit.

On-Demand Video: Access CLE 24/7 via on-demand library and watch program anytime. Qualifies for self-study CLE credit. On-demand versions are made available 5 business days after the original recording date and are viewable for up to one year.

Closed-captioning available

Speakers

Krista J. Martinelli_myLawCLEKrista J. Martinelli | IEP Collaborative, Inc.

In late 2018, Krista completed her term as a local elected official and returned to the legal profession as a Special Education Attorney. She is a mother to 4 beautiful children and has over 20 years of experience in legal and government affairs. With a talented Board, she launched IEP Collaborative, Inc. in January 2019 to secure access to inclusive and challenging educational programming for California students with disabilities.
Krista’s service is inspired by her oldest son’s academic and social accomplishments. In 2009, she began learning about and tracking his rights under IDEA and has since applied a collaborative advocacy approach to positively impact his IEP. For over 12 years, she has collaborated with educators on inclusive education policies.

Krista’s personal experience with Special Education concerns, combined with nearly 10 years of experience as a litigator, followed by 11 years of service as a local elected official, uniquely prepared her for special education advocacy and litigation. As a Senior Associate at Brobeck, Phleger and Harrison and Pillsbury Winthrop in both Silicon Valley and San Francisco she practiced before government regulatory bodies and litigated in state and federal courts. Krista’s most recent experience as the elected City Clerk in the City of South San Francisco sharpened her policy analysis, community building and advocacy skills.

Krista also served on the League of California Cities’ Administrative Policy Committee lobbying before the State legislature. Her dedication to open communication compliments her litigation and legislative advocacy skills and is essential to her efforts to build collaborative relationships between teachers, school administrators, and parents throughout all phases of the IEP process. Krista holds a B.S. with honors in Human Development and Family Studies from Cornell University, NY (1995) and a J.D. from the University of California Hastings College of the Law, CA (1998).

 

Eli R. Economou_myLawCLEEli R. Economou | Economou Law Group, Inc.

Eli Economou is the CEO and managing partner of the Economou Law Group, specializing in education law and estate planning in southern California since 2013. He has been practicing education law since 2009. Mr. Economou has worked exclusively for parents and students in all manners of educational representation, including qualification, appropriate placement and services, disciplinary matters, and federal appeals.

 

F. Richard Ruderman_myLawCLEF. Richard Ruderman | Ruderman & Knox, LLP Attorneys at Law

F. Richard Ruderman brings more than 38 years of experience in law and education to his practice representing children in special education matters. He is a partner with Ruderman & Knox, LLP. Credentialed in both secondary math and social studies, Mr. Ruderman was a public school teacher for eight years. He left teaching to enter law school, and after graduation practiced education law on behalf of public agencies for two years. Mr. Ruderman has focused exclusively on special education law for more than thirty years, first as a hearing officer for the California Special Education Hearing Office and then in private practice.

As a California Hearing Officer, he adjudicated special education cases for approximately 5 years and as a private attorney, he has represented hundreds of children and their families. He has conducted numerous presentations for attorneys, parent advocates, and public agencies and has participated in training special education hearing officers. Mr. Ruderman received his B.A. degree from the University of California at Berkeley and his J.D. degree from the University of San Francisco, where he received the American Jurisprudence Award in Administrative Law.

Agenda

Session I: Establishing the Framework of Special Education Law | 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
1. Overview of Laws That Govern Special Education | 12:00 pm – 12:20 pm
2. Summary of Recent Developments in Special Education Law | 12:20 pm – 12:40 pm
3. Relevant Case Law | 12:40 pm – 1:00 pm

Break | 1:00 pm – 1:10 pm

Session II: Section 504 Plan Documentation in The Covid-19 Era: What You Need to Know | 1:10 pm – 2:10 pm
1. Review of Section 504 | 1:10 pm – 1:20 pm
2. Determining When an Evaluation is Necessary | 1:20 pm – 1:30 pm
3. Information Required to Document a Disability | 1:30 pm – 1:40 pm
4. Americans With Disabilities Act and Section 504 Plan Eligibility | 1:40 pm – 1:50 pm
5. Proper Notice of Evaluation and Placement | 1:50 pm – 2:00 pm
6. Section 504 Plan Development and Implementation in light of COVID-19 School Related Impacts | 2:00 pm – 2:10 pm

Lunch Break | 2:10 pm – 2:40 pm

Session III: Unraveling the Requirements of The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (Idea) | 2:40 pm – 3:40 pm
1. IDEA requirements in a chronological order | 2:40 pm – 3:00 pm
2. From initial assessment and qualification to IEP requirements | 3:00 pm – 3:20 pm
3. Challenging IEP and assessments to due process procedures | 3:20 pm – 3:40 pm

Break | 3:40 pm – 3:50 pm

Session IV: Successfully Handling Disciplinary Actions for Special Needs Students | 3:50 pm – 4:50 pm
1. We will approach a typical disciplinary situation for a child qualified to receive special education services | 3:50 pm – 4:10 pm
2. What is required and what is typically provided by school districts | 4:10 pm – 4:30 pm
3. We will also address the situation in which a child is NOT qualified but it is believed they should be | 4:30 pm – 4:50 pm

Break | 4:50 pm – 5:00 pm

Session V: Representing Children with Special Needs and Their Parents | 5:00 pm – 7:10 pm
1. The Intake Process | 5:00 pm – 5:05 pm
2. Fee Agreement and scope of representation | 5:05 pm – 5:15 pm
3. Records requests | 5:15 pm – 5:20 pm
4. Informal resolution without filing a complaint | 5:20 pm – 5:30 pm
5. Assessments | 5:30 pm – 5:35 pm
6. IEP meetings | 5:35 pm – 5:45 pm
7. Placement issues, including least restrictive environment | 5:45 pm – 5:50 pm
8. Notice of unilateral placement by parents | 5:50 pm – 6:00 pm

Break | 6:00 pm – 6:10 pm

9. Drafting the due process complaint | 6:10 pm – 6:20 pm
10. Independent assessments | 6:20 pm – 6:25 pm
11. Mediation | 6:25 pm – 6:35 pm
12. Settlement Communications | 6:35 pm – 6:40 pm
13. Preparing for the hearing | 6:40 pm – 6:50 pm
14. Prehearing Conferences | 6:50 pm – 6:55 pm
15. Hearing | 6:55 pm – 7:05 pm
16. Appeals | 7:05 pm – 7:10 pm