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Fort Lauderdale Education Law Blog

Tips for helping children with IEPs during the summer

Most kids in Florida have been out of school for weeks now. School is likely the last thing on a child's mind during this time of year, but many parents prefer to keep learning opportunities going all summer long.

This can be a challenge for any parent, but if your child has special educational needs and an Individualized Education Program, it can be particularly difficult to know what you can be doing during the summer to help your child. Below are a few tips for parents in this situation.

State teachers' unions sue over provision in new education law

This spring, Gov. Rick Scott signed an education bill into law amid controversy that centered in part on a provision involving teachers' unions. Now the Florida Education Association (FEA) and local unions are challenging the constitutionality of that law.

The defendants named in the suit are the Florida Public Employee Relations Commission members whose job it is to enforce the law. The plaintiffs assert that the provision regarding teachers' unions is intended to "bust" these unions. FEA's president calls the law a "very targeted attack on public school teachers' rights."

Miami-Dade teacher under investigation for bullying

As a Florida parent, you should expect your child’s teachers to set an example of good behavior to their students. Since schools have a large potential to house numerous bullying cases, it is important to promote a toxic-free environment. Failure to do so can have serious ramifications on your child’s academic and emotional state.

According to a report from June 29, a student of the Miami-Dade County Public School District experienced those consequences. A teacher working there faces accusations of belittling and bullying a 5 year-old boy in her classroom.

Lack of education funding leaves parents with extra costs

Covering the costs of a child's education can be a constant struggle for any parent, but it is especially challenging for parents of children with disabilities and special academic needs.

In some areas across Florida, parents get considerable relief from a child's school and school district. Unfortunately, this is not the case for everyone. Too often, parents wind up having to cover extra costs to provide the things a student needs and deserves.

5 policies driving racial inequality at charter schools

Every student deserves a solid education. Unfortunately, the reality is that many students miss out on academic opportunities and resources for reasons beyond their control, from where they live to the color of their skin.

This is a pervasive problem for all types of school, including charter schools. And to make matters worse, there are some charter schools that intentionally (or knowingly) put in place policies that discriminate against certain types of students. 

Could summer break be causing more problems for some students?

Summertime is a time for kids to relax and have fun. However, parents also want their kids to be active, stay engaged and continue learning new things, even when they aren't in a classroom. After all, the learning process shouldn't have to stop just because there is a break from school.

Unfortunately, that is exactly what is happening, according to recent studies. As noted in this article from U.S. News and World Report, summer break in the United States could be contributing to a loss of knowledge that sets our children back academically.

Portable classroom can cause problems for some students

School often struggle to balance the needs of their students with the restraints of budgets and other resources. Some accomplish this and deliver everything required of them and more; others can't seem to make this happen. 

The latter situation can be frustrating for any parent. However, it can be especially upsetting for parents of children with special needs. These parents often already need to fight for the education and services their children require; adding in the impact of strained resources can make matters worse.

The debate about standardized testing continues in Florida

Standardized testing has been a tool for assessing student performance for several generations. Virtually every student, whether in public or private schools, has taken at least one standardized exam, but some parents question the dependence on these exams for evaluating student achievement.

Recently in Florida, an appeals court decided that standardized testing is the best indicator for passing third-graders - instead of school work or grades - despite assessment experts' opposition. According to veteran teacher Peter Greene, "Florida, in short, had a chance to show whether it was on the side of education or on the side of stupid. It picked stupid."

Legal woes outside of school can hurt teachers' standing

People often strive to keep their work like and their home life separate; this includes teachers. They might not discuss personal issues while at work, for instance. Or they might refrain from taking work calls or checking work email when they are home. Some people might seem to lead two different lives.

Unfortunately, there are situations in which the worlds collide, and this could have serious consequences when the elements of one world go against the elements of the other. As an example, a teacher could lose his or her job for misconduct outside the classroom.

How to address grade disputes

Imagine your child has put in countless hours working on a school assignment. He or she might have stayed up late, gotten up early, and skipped out on social or extracurricular activities to work on the project. Once the assignment's complete and handed in, you might both breathe a sigh of relief and wait eagerly for a good grade.

But when the grade comes back, it's not as good as you or your child expected. Worse, it's low enough that it could jeopardize something like your child's standing in the school, graduation or scholarship. In these situations, it can be crucial to know what options you have to dispute a grade.