NEGOTIATING TIMELINES: FUNCTIONING AT THE INTERSECTION OF IDEA PRINCIPLES, PARENT INTERESTS, AND FAPE
On May 1, 2020, DESE held a special education leadership meeting led by Russell Johnston to discuss the April 27, 2020 Department of Education (“DOE”) recommendations to Congress (these recommendations are detailed in a separate client alert). Many stakeholders, including DESE, were surprised to learn that Secretary DeVos did not recommend that Congress amend IDEA’s timelines during this period of school closures. DESE further advised districts during the call that remote learning days count as “school working days” for purposes of the IDEA. Mr. Johnston confirmed that DESE’s prior proposal that school districts act in good faith and do their best to comply with timelines to the extent possible is now rendered moot by DOE’s recommendations.
The MCLE (Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education) sponsored an eLecture where Mary Ellen Sowyrda, a partner with Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP, presented. Alongside Ms. Sowyrda was Daniel Ahearn, Esq., and Marlies Spanjaard from the Committee for Public Counsel Services. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), school authorities are required to conduct Manifestation Determination when it comes to discipling a student with disabilities. Their presentation, titled “How to Handle Manifestation Determination Reviews for Students with Disabilities”, focused Read More
On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA”) which provides for a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package. State and local governments, and also many educational entities, will receive substantial funding. Having endured the last year of the global COVID-19 pandemic, both states and local governments, as well as schools, have experienced unexpected expenses, losses in revenues, and budgetary burdens. The purpose of this Client Alert is to explain generally how funds from the ARPA relief aid have been designated to alleviate those COVID-19-related challenges.