Saturday, August 15, 2009

Reflections on My IDEA Remedies Tour - Part I

As some of you have noticed, I've had some fun describing my two speaking engagements last month as the IDEA Remedies Tour. I spoke in early July at the Seattle University Academy for IDEA Hearing Officers on the topic of compensatory education. Lotsa changes going on in the law as to the remedy of compensatory education. By the way, I'm not talking about the Title I definition of compensatory education for poor and culturally deprived children. (Why do we so often use the same phrases to mean different things? Are we trying to confuse people?) Instead, my session was on the changes in the law of compensatory education, meaning the remedy when a parent/student prevails in a special education case.

In late July, I presented two sessions at the 16th annual Education Law Conference in Portland, Maine. One of my topics was the remedy of reimbursement for a unilateral placement. I was lucky enough to have a recent United States Supreme Court decision on that very t

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opic in time for my presentation.

In the coming installments in this series, I'll be sharing some of the substantive "meat "of my presentations, and some new hot button issues that I discovered by attending these conferences. Today, I want to make a few general comments and observations.

First, I love these conferences. In addition to presenting, I learn a lot. Presentations by other experienced hearing officers and special ed law experts, like my friend Professor Mark Weber, are invaluable. The exchange of information and the high level discussion of the issues really helps me to stay on top of the difficult and ever-changing body of special education law.

Second, the networking opportunities are excellent. I get to visit with many old friends, and I invariably make a bunch of new friends. Thanks to all of you. I know that many readers of this blog could not attend these conferences this year, although a number of you were there. For those who couldn't make it, the next posts in this series will concern some of the substance of my presentations. As always, I would appreciate the responses and reactions of our many readers.

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