Thursday, April 30, 2009

Extended School Year

Lots of districts are cutting ESY this year. In response to this question:
"But what if a student has more time than that specified in their IEP?"
An administrator replied:
"Families will be called for an IEP meeting and the IEP will be revised. And if parents disagree, we'll see what happens then..."

What recourse do parents have? File a complaint? Go to hearing? Give in?

Who has the lawyer on retainer and who is busy raising a child with special needs?

It just is unfair bullying. In my personal opinion, that is nothing short of reprehensible.

In case you need to know, here is what the CA Ed Code actually says on ESY. (The section G1 on qualifying for Average Daily Attendance is important, we think.)

5 CCR 3043 - Extended School Year Services

3043. Extended School Year.
Extended school year services shall be provided for each individual with exceptional needs who has unique needs and requires special education and related services in excess of the regular academic year. Such individuals shall have handicaps which are likely to continue indefinitely or for a prolonged period, and interruption of the pupil's educational programming may cause regression, when coupled with limited recoupment capacity, rendering it impossible or unlikely that the pupil will attain the level of self-sufficiency and independence that would otherwise be expected in view of his or her handicapping condition. The lack of clear evidence of such factors may not be used to deny an individual an extended school year program if the individualized education program team determines the need for such a program and includes extended school year in the individualized education program pursuant to subsection(f).

(a) Extended year special education and related services shall be provided by a school district, special education local plan area, or county office offering programs during the regular academic year.

(b) Individuals with exceptional needs who may require an extended school year are those who:
(1) Are placed in special classes or centers; or
(2) Are individuals with exceptional needs whose individualized education programs specify an extended year program as determined by the individualized education program team.

(c) The term "extended year" as used in this section means the period of time between the close of one academic year and the beginning of the succeeding academic year. The term "academic year" as used in this section means that portion of the school year during which the regular day school is maintained, which period must include not less than the number of days required to entitle the district, special education services region, or county office to apportionments of state funds.

(d) An extended year program shall be provided for a minimum of 20 instructional days, including holidays. For reimbursement purposes:
(1) A maximum of 55 instructional days excluding holidays, shall be allowed for individuals in special classes or centers for the severely handicapped; and
(2) A maximum of 30 instructional days excluding holidays, shall be allowed for all other eligible pupils needing extended year.

(e) A local governing board may increase the number of instructional days during the extended year period, but shall not claim revenue for average daily attendance generated beyond the maximum instructional days allowed in subsection (d)(1) and (2).

(f) An extended year program, when needed, as determined by the individualized education program team, shall be included in the pupil's individualized education program.

(g) In order to qualify for average daily attendance revenue for extended year pupils, all of the following conditions must be met:
(1) Extended year special education shall be the same length of time as the school day for pupils of the same age level attending summer school in the district in which the extended year program is provided, but not less than the minimum school day for that age unless otherwise specified in the individualized education program to meet a pupil's unique needs.
(2) The special education and related services offered during the extended year period are comparable in standards, scope and quality to the special education program offered during the regular academic year.

(h) If during the regular academic year an individual's individualized education program specifies integration in the regular classroom, a public education agency is not required to meet that component of the individualized education program if no regular summer school programs are being offered by that agency.

(i) This section shall not apply to schools which are operating a continuous school program pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 37600) of Part 22, Division 3, Title 2, of the Education Code.

[Authority cited: Section 56100(a) and (j), Education Code] [Reference: Sections 37600, 41976.5 and 56345, Education Code; and 34 CFR 300.346]