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Fort Lauderdale Education Law Blog

Black, Latino special needs students less likely to graduate

Every child should be able to receive a quality education and every school should have the resources it needs to provide this to students. 

Unfortunately, the reality is there is favoritism, cutbacks and loopholes in the system that put certain children at risk of not getting the education and services they deserve. In fact, according to a recent study, biases in the system, black and Latino students with special needs are much less likely to graduate with a traditional high school diploma than white students are.

Will parent-teacher conferences soon become a thing of the past?

In an effort to squeeze in more instruction time, one school district has replaced student-teacher conferences with online reports. It says the reports give more information than a conference ever could -- but is it the right information?

The change was rolled out this year in Adams County School District 14, just north of Denver. The district serves 7,500 students, half of whom are English-language learners. Around 85 percent qualify for subsidized lunches, so the district is largely made up of lower-income families. It has been struggling academically and was pressured to make changes under a state-ordered plan for improvement.

Finders keepers: not words to live by in Florida

You're at the mall with your friends, when you spot a pair of Gucci sunglasses in pristine condition on the ground. Another shopper must have accidentally dropped them. And now you get free sunglasses! It's your lucky day, right? Think again.

In Florida, if you take something you find on the ground, the state considers that theft by finding. You could find yourself in real trouble--or even in jail.

Lawsuit cites bias against men in student suspension

Sexual assaults on college campuses across the country are pervasive and indeed troubling. In fact, according to statistics from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, about 20 percent of women and over 6 percent of men are the victims of sexual assault while in college.

However, despite the fact that this issue is widespread, schools still struggle when it comes to taking appropriate action to address sexual assault on campus. Some facilities fail to investigate claims properly; others hand out overly harsh and unfair penalties without sufficient evidence. In either case, legal action may be the only way for those affected by these situations to secure a fair outcome.

Is my child safe on the school bus?

When you sent your child off to school on the bus for the first time, you might have felt both pride and fear. This first step of independence naturally creates some separation anxiety for many parents. After all, many parents are able to recall their own experiences on the school bus, some of which may not have been pleasant.

Luckily, there are several rules in place to keep buses secure. The law holds school districts responsible for certain aspects of bus transportation, according to the Florida Administrative Code. Their primary task is to keep up with bus maintenance and develop emergency plans.

Is special education falling short in preparing students to go out into the world?

One of the things parents hope their children’s education at school will do is help prepare their kids to succeed out in the world. Statistics raise some questions as to how effective special education here in the U.S. is at doing this for special needs students.

For one, data indicates that students who receive special education have much lower rates of graduating on-time from high school than their peers. Reportedly, 65 percent of special education students here in U.S. get their high school diploma on-schedule. Meanwhile, the rate for American students overall is 83 percent.

Bill regarding school bullying proposed in Florida

Certain things can pose barriers to a child’s ability to succeed at school and get the high-quality learning experience they deserve. Among these is being bullied. So, how schools here in Florida address bullying can be remarkably impactful. So too can what rules and regulations the state has related to school bullying and what options are available for victims of bullying.

Recently, a bill has been proposed which would make some additions to the state’s laws and rules on bullying. The bill would put some new options in place for victims of bullying.

Survey: Stress, mental health challenges high among today’s educators

It appears that feeling a lot of stress at work is pretty common among today’s teachers.

A recent survey polled educators on issues related to stress and mental health. The survey results indicate that finding work to be “often” or “always” stressful is something that 61 percent of educators and school staff report.

Special-education-related guidance documents rescinded

Among the things that could influence how school districts act when it comes to special education matters is what the federal government has said on the matters. There are many issues related to special education that the federal government has laws and rules on. The federal government sometimes issues guidance documents on these laws and rules. These documents are typically aimed at providing explanations of what schools and school districts are supposed to do to comply with these laws and regulations.

Recently, the U.S. Department of Education decided to rescind some of these documents. Specifically, 72 guidance documents related to special education and rehabilitation services were withdrawn. The bulk of these documents were from the Office of Special Education Programs.

Education and the amendment process for the Florida Constitution

There are many rules here in Florida regarding education. Some of them touch on what rights students, teachers and parents have. Others deal with what obligations and requirements schools are subject to. Understanding what such rules apply to their situation and what the rules mean for their options can be very important for a parent or teacher when they are in a dispute with a school district. So, these are among the topics a parent or teacher may wish to discuss with an experienced education lawyer when such a dispute comes up.

The education rules in the state can come from various sources. For one, they can come from state legislation. Also, they can come from the state’s constitution. Might this constitution soon be seeing some changes in its terms related to education? It’s possible, given a process that is currently occurring in Florida.