EDUCATION NOTES from our Campaign Director Jeremy Eisler
Recently, MCJ was approached by the mother of a legally blind child. The child’s doctor had told her he needed a vision evaluation, and would probably require special educational services. When the Mom told the doctor she could not afford to pay for an evaluation he said “You should ask your school district, they should pay for it.”
The Mom asked her district. The district told her they didn’t think the child needed an evaluation, and that they had no money to pay for one in any event, or to pay for special services. They did not tell her she had the right to contest their decision.
The child’s doctor was right! The district has an obligation under the I.D.E.A. (Individuals With Disabilities Education Act) to identify, evaluate, and assist children with disabilities. This is called their “Child Find” obligation. We look forward to assisting this child and helping him obtain the assistance to which he is clearly entitled.
Parents who do not agree with district’s decision not to provide their child special education services have the right to file either a state complaint, or a due process complaint. They also have the right to request an “Independent Evaluation” at the district’s expense. If you are having problems getting your district to assist your child with a disability, please contact us here at MCJ.
Jeremy Eisler is the Educational Opportunities Director for the Mississippi Center for Justice.