Who Will Stand Up For The LAUSD’s Most Vulnerable Students?
LAUSD parents must still negotiate IEPs without protections outlined in proposed “Improving Special Education Within the LAUSD” resolution.
– Re-elect Scott Schmerelson, 2020
For children with Special Education needs, the Individual Education Program (IEP) team decides the types of support and services the students will receive. While parents are supposed to be equal members of this team, experience presents a different reality. Some will find that successful programs, like Aut Core, are not being offered as the LAUSD forces children out of specialized classrooms. For those with severe needs, entire campuses have been declared out of bounds as the District continues to starve Special Education Centers of new students as it aims towards closing these schools.
As parents attempt to negotiate past these roadblocks, they cannot count on help from their child’s teacher because the LAUSD has cultivated a fear of retaliation for any employee who refuses to tow the company line. These teachers have been made to believe that they must choose between giving parents their honest opinion and keeping their jobs.
Those who successfully appeal IEP decisions through the mediation process are forced to sign confidentiality agreements. This prohibits them from sharing best practices with other parents. They must choose between accepting services that their children need and making sure that all of their children’s classmates have the same access.
To protect parents as they negotiate the IEP process, I wrote the proposed “Improving Special Education Within the LAUSD” resolution. At Tuesday morning’s LAUSD Board meeting, I once again made an appeal to our representatives to make this the official policy of the District: