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ED 522 Legal Aspects of Special Education
Pate, Victoria J.

Mission Statement: The mission of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Park University is to provide leadership and directions to Park University's graduate and professional programs to assure that they are specialized, scholarly, innovative, and designed to educate students to be creative, independent, and lifelong learners within the context of a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University's School of Graduate and Professional Studies will be an international leader in providing innovative graduate and professional educational opportunities to learners within a global society.


ED 522 Legal Aspects of Special Education


U1P 2006 EDI


Pate, Victoria J.


Senior Professor/Adjunct Faculty


Juris Doctor

Daytime Phone



Semester Dates

June 5, 2006 - July 30, 2006

Class Days


Class Time

8:30 - 1:00 PM

Credit Hours


The Answer Book on Special Education Law, 4th Ed., S. Gorn and J. Norlin, LRP Publications, 2005

Textbooks can be purchased though the Parkville Bookstore

Course Description:
Review and analysis of current case law and litigation related to children with disabilities. Focus on the legal system that assures children with disabilities of a Free Appropriate Public Education with emphasis on due process procedures and other procedural safeguards, discipline, program accessibility, and application of Least Restrictive Environment alternative principles to special education programming.

Educational Philosophy:
To provide an interactive and interdisciplinary learning opportunity for the student in which the student will develop an ethical, legal and objective approach to educating children with disabilities.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the historical, social, and political issues which impact the education of children with disabilities. {1.3.6}  [] [CEC 1, 9, &10]
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of landmark cases that resulted in the implementation of educational programming for children with disabilities. {1.3.6}  [] [CEC 1]
  3. Apply knowledge of case law related to Least Restrictive Environment (LRE), Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), discipline, accessibility. {1.3.2, 1.3.3, 1.3.6} [] [CEC 1]
  4. Apply knowledge of the sequence and interrelatedness of the special education referral process. {1.3.3} [,,,] [CEC 1]
  5. Apply knowledge of statutory requirements related to procedural safeguards; due process; and evaluation and placement (including the Individual Education Plan). {1.3.3} [,] [CEC 1, 7, & 8]
  6. Demonstrate positive ethical dispositions related to the education of children with disabilities. {1.3.5} [,] [CEC 1 & 9]

Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:
No mid-term or final exams.  Final grades will be based on class participation in discussion, group projects, daily worksheets and a Core Assessment Activity.  Group projects are designed to reinforce the lecture material.  Worksheets are designed to assess the student's understanding of and ability to apply the weekly reading assignments, case readings and lecture material to specific issues concerning the week's main topics.  You will benefit from reading the text and case assignments prior to each class session.

Participation = 40 points (5 points @ day)
Worksheets    = 80 points (10 points @ day)
Core Assessment Activity = 30 points
Total possible points = 150

90 -100% = A
80 - 89% = B
70 - 79% = C
60 - 69% = D
below 60%= F

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Five (5) points will be deducted from worksheets submitted after the due date.  If you know you will be absent you may submit your worksheet by email.  However, your work must be received on the due date in order to escape point deduction.  No credit will be given for late submission of the Core Assessment Activity except in exceptional circumstances.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Students whose behavior is detrimental to good order in the classroom or whose behavior interferes with the learning of other students will be subject to disciplinary action ranging from dismissal from the classroom to expulsion from Park University.  Such behavior includes, but is not limited to, the use of abusive or obscene language, attending the class under the influence of drugs or alcohol, excessive tardiness and excessive absences.



Topic/text assignment

Case reading assignment


June 10

Overview and structure of the laws governing the education of students with disabilities; IDEA terminology and concepts; the interrelationship between Sec. 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the IDEA
Chapter 1



June 17

Procedural Safeguards: the parental rights to notice, consent, participation, due process hearings and the transfer of rights to the student; confidentiality and access to records; the zero-reject principle
Special Project #1:  mock IEP meeting.
Chapter 7; see also questions 5 on 1:3; questions 25-40 on 4:18-28

Timothy W. v. Rochester, New Hampshire School District, 875 F.2d 954 (1st Cir.1989)


June 24

Due process hearings; the stay-put requirement and statutory exceptions; students "suspected"of being disabled; the voluntary mediation option
Chapter 8; see also questions 19-20 on 11:14-15; questions 26-31 on 11:17-20

Cronin v. Board of Education of East Ramapo Central School District, 689 F.Supp. 197 (S.D.N.Y.1988)


July 1

Private schooling for students with disabilities; persons in a parental role; testing and evaluation standards; the right to an IEE
Chapters 2 and 10; see also questions 4-9 on 7:2-7 and questions 33-39 on 12:19-24

Zobrest v. Catalina Foothills School District, 509 U.S. 1(1993)


July 8

The legal standards of an "appropriate" public education; extended school year services; legal compliance with the "least restrictive environment" mandate
Special Project #2: Documentation in support of change of placement
Chapters 3 and 5

Board of Education of the Hendrick Hudson Central School District v. Rowley, 458 U.S. 176 (1982)
Alamo Heights Independent School District v. State Board of Education, 790 F.2d 1153 (5th Cir.1986)
Greer V. Rome City School District, 950 F.2d 688 (11th Cir.1991)
Oberti V. Board of Education, 995 F.2d 1204 (3rd Cir.1993)

6: Earliest Core Assessment Activity may be turned in

July 15

Related services; assistive technology devices and services; extra-curricular activities; duty of care issues concerning students with disabilities
Chapter 6; see also questions 39-40 on 3:21-22

Irving Independent School District v. Tatro, 468 U.S. 883(1984)

7:  Core Assessment Activity due

July 22

Discipline; the legal standards for conducting behavioral assessments and manifestation determinations; the Missouri Safe Schools Act and the disabled student; transition services
Chapter 11; see also questions 33-37 on 3:18-20

Honig v. Doe, 484 U.S. 305 (1988)
S-1 v. Turlington, 635 F.2d 342 (5th Cir.1981)


July 29

Compensatory education services; tuition reimbursement; attorney fees and the "prevailing party" standard; IEP content requirements
Chapters 12, 13 and 4; see also questions 28-31 on 14:17-19

Burlington School Committee v. Department of Education of Massachusetts, 471 U.S. 359 (1985)
Lester v. Gilhool, 916 F.2d 865 (3rd Cir.1990)

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2005-2006 Graduate Catalog Page 20-22

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2005-2006 Graduate Catalog Page 20-22

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "WH".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2005-2006 Graduate Catalog Page 23-24
Since participation is an integral part of this course, missing any class will result in zero participation points for that day regardless of whether the absence is excused or unexcused.

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


Core Assessment


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Last Updated:4/28/2006 2:04:38 PM