a professional association

EDUCATION LAW

The Pinkney Law Firm is dedicated to representing families and children on various issues, including general education, special education and school discipline (suspension/expulsion) that may or may not be related to a disability.The Pinkney Law Firm also provides outreach services designed to inform parents about their rights and the rights of their school aged child (ren).
 
DO YOU REPRESENT CHILDREN STATEWIDE?


Yes, we are able to handle many education cases statewide without the necessity of long distance travel.
 
WHAT DOES THE LAW REQUIRE FOR MEETING THE EDUCATION NEEDS OF CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES?

The U.S. Constitution, 14th Amendment, IDEA (Individuals with Disability Education Act), Amendments to IDEA, State Statutes and Rules, guarantees that all children, between the ages of 3-21 who have special needs have a right to a free, appropriate, public education, at public expense, in an appropriate school setting.  Additional rights and protections are set forth in a document titled Notice of Procedural Safeguards for Parents of Students with disabilities.  You can request a copy from your child’s school or download the document from the School board website.   You should read this document in order to understand your rights.


HOW ARE CHILDREN IDENTIFIED?

Children may have learning or behavioral difficulties in school that are preventing them from progressing.  If you have a concern or believe that your child may have special needs, the first step is to request assistance as soon as possible.  Your first contact will usually be with the child’s teacher. 

Initial assistance may be provided through an AIP (Academic Improvement Plan).  If the child continues to have problems, you may request assistance from the CST (Child Study Team), SST (School Support Team) or SDT (Student Development Team). All of the above are problem-solving teams and a resource for assisting teachers and parents with providing resources and interventions.

WHAT IF THE INTERVENTIONS DO NOT HELP?

 
If the supports and interventions do not help, the parent can request a Multi-disciplinary Team Evaluation.  This evaluation will gather information that will assist in determining if the Child has a disability, needs special education and/or related services.  This evaluation must be completed before special education or related services can be provided to a child with a disability.

IS PARENTAL CONSENT REQUIRED FOR AN EVALUATION?

Your school district cannot conduct an initial evaluation of your child without first providing you with notice of the proposed action and without obtaining your consent.  Your consent for an evaluation does not mean that you have also given your consent for special education and related services to be provided to your child. 

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT AREAS OF REPRESENTATION AVAILABLE?

SPECIAL EDUCATION, including the following:

Assessments
Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings and plans
Student Services including occupational, speech, and other therapies
Private and Charter school placement concerns
504 Plans
And many other special education matters

STUDENT DISCIPLINE, including the following:
Expulsions (including appeals of expulsion)
Expulsion of a special needs student
Behavior Contracts

Suspensions
Involuntary transfers
Discipline problems

And other areas including bullying, sexual harassment, Gifted, Graduation Concerns, Tutoring, Foster/Homeless Children and personnel (teacher) issues.

HOW MAY WE RETAIN YOUR SERVICES?


We may provide telephone or in-person consultations. We may also be able to resolve your issues without the necessity of traveling long distance, i.e. via telephone with school personnel and/or the district.