Wednesday, December 12, 2007

School daze

All right, a little news on our adventure.

Jeff Morris, CVUSD's lawyer, insists on doing the IEP first, and then doing mediation afterwards. The IEP meeting is required by law to consider all social and emotional factors bearing on Stephen's case, so CVUSD finally coughed up the 5150 assessment and Linda Casas's memo to her boss.

It shows first that the Superintendent was approving and directing this action at the outset, and the memo asserts that the CCRT worker agreed with Casas's decision, which I have confirmed with the CCRT worker was completely false. It wasn't very smart to falsely assert that a County agency was in agreement with them, since the County can hardly be expected to be happy about Casas in this way accusing them of being liable. It's easy to see why CVUSD didn't want us to see this documentation.

Much else is of course needed to perform the IEP right according to the law. CVUSD is still stonewalling on much other needed documentation, although I am legally entitled to it and so is the IEP team. It hasn't been a problem yet, because we're still awaiting some essential docs ourselves. We need our evaluator's report, which is very well-researched and reliable, and which should be ready no later than the 17th. We are also awaiting a couple of essential reports from Stephen's visit to Alabama last June.

Because the SELPA IEP coordinator tried to railroad us into a meeting on the 20th without the needed docs and with a mandate arbitrarily, and illegally, redefined by her to protect the interests of CVUSD at Stephen's expense, I will also need a little more time to study the "Handbook of Special Education Rights and Responsibilities" published by CASE, whose new edition will not be ready until the 15th.

I filed a compliance complaint yesterday with the California Department of Education about the stonewalliong and the attempt to convene the IEP without the needed people and documentation. They called me this afternoon saying they have accepted the stonewalling count, and the investigator is supposed to call me by next week. Kimberley Baker, an attorney at Protection and Advocacy, thinks it's a good complaint.

The only reasonable motive for Morris to insist on the IEP first, while stonewalling and having SELPA pressure us into holding a meeting without even our evaluator, is to trick us into settling for a bad IEP as though it doesn't mean anything. Having tricked us into bobbling away crucial things, he can stonewall in mediation and force us to sue having made terrible concessions - in exchange for what? So I have to go to the wall on the IEP meeting. I have to use Federal law to make them disgorge all the docs I'm entitled to so we can nail down a good IEP, well-documented against the little tricks they can be expected to try in future, as they've been doing up to the present moment.

Anyway, the California Department of Education is now involved, and 20 USC Section 1415 is very clear. I'm entitled to "all records relating to a child with a disability," and I know I can't let that go.

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