Special Education Should Be a Service Not a Place

In an article in the Legal Intelligencer, the Law Center’s Jennifer Clarke and David Hanyok  highlight the important role parents and lawyers play in making sure that children with disabilities receive a proper education in accordance with the 1975 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). According to IDEA, schools have an obligation to reach out to students with disabilities and provide the services and support they need in the least restrictive environment. However, IDEA remains a promise largely unfulfilled in Philadelphia, and children with disabilities are suspended, transferred to alternate schools and expelled at higher rates than other children. Parents are given considerable rights under IDEA to fight for their children, but many parents are not aware of these rights. Parents, with the help of public interest and pro-bono lawyers, have the power to combat individual and systemic problems in the Philadelphia school system and ensure that children with disabilities are provided with the education they deserve.

Read the article here