Procedures Lite = Rights Lite

Have you ever heard of “Procedures Lite?”  If not, don’t feel bad.  Very few people have, though you will probably be seeing reference to this more and more.

Federal and state special education laws grant numerous rights to parents, and create numerous requirements for public school systems, to ensure that disabled children are provided with a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). Anyone who has been involved with creating or implementing an IEP, or dealing with disputes that may crop up regarding a child’s education, can attest to the large overhead that is involved with special education.

Procedures Lite is an attempt by school districts to avoid the time, paperwork, cost and accountability that are required by federal and state special education laws.  Here’s how you will “ benefit:”

  1. You will “agree to suspend state and federal special education procedural requirements…”
  2. You will “understand that an Individualized Education Program (IEP) will be replaced by a one-page Student Learning Plan (SLP)…”
  3. You will agree not to:
    1. _____convene the Team meeting to develop an IEP.

    2. _____develop an IEP.

    3. _____ send/receive periodic parent notices.

    4. _____conduct procedurally required evaluations

  1. You will agree to “forever WAIVE [your] rights to appeal all issues under all state and federal laws… including all rights related to compensatory services or damages.”

Is Procedures Lite sanctioned by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) or the Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA)?   I can find no reference to it in any state or federal website or communication, yet its advocates will have you believe that it is sanctioned by the DESE.  The Town of Weston – the only district of which I am aware that openly makes reference to this procedure – states, “DESE identifies the purposes of Procedures Lite as follows… DESE suggests that Procedures Lite agreements be limited….”  http://bit.ly/owsn9r.

I can’t think of any good reason for parents to agree to the use of Procedures Lite.  I see lots of benefits for the school districts, but none for the parents.  Is a district asks you to utilize Procedures Lite, would you mind notifying my office?  I would like to keep a running list of districts attempting to utilize Procedures Lite.  Thank you.

For further information about the Law Office of James M.  Baron, please visit http://www.lawbaron.com,or call 781-209-1166.

 

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