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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Education Law
Satisfied Customers: 38264
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I have two questions... 1.) When the school year began the

Customer Question

I have two questions...
1.) When the school year began the first grade classroom at my school was a co-taught classroom. Three of the students had paraprofessional minutes written into their IEP. After the co-teaching model was put into place the school's principal told me that not only did I make the SPED IEP resource minutes while in the classroom (which I was not in all day bc I was split between two classrooms) but I also met all of the paraprofessional minutes. I do not see how that was even possible since two of my students split an all day para. Is this correct? Also....I have now been directed to no longer co-teach and pull my kids for resource to meet my studnts minutes bc the co-teaching model was not appropriate for them - they were not making appropriate progress. Now these student do not have ANY of their para minutes met.
2.) I have a student that requires 200 minutes of additional intervention in math and 200 minutes of reading in my co-taught kindergarten classroom (that is am not in all day either.) They want me to take three 5th grade students at the end of the day for resource whose minutes are already being met. They are doing this bc these three studnts have "behavior issues" this time of day. A co-teacher is in this classroom during this time and she doesn't understand their reasoning behind this. This causes my kindergartener student to not recieve ANY of his 200 minutes of math intervention instruction. They do not seem to care about this even though I keep
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Education Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.


Before I can try to answer your question, I need to explain the statutory hierarchy.

Your school district's IEP program is authorized by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (also referred to as “IDEA”) (20 USC 1400 et seq.), its implementing regulations (34 CFR 300, as amended by 71 Fed. Reg. 46540 (August 14, 2006, no later amendments or editions included)), and Article 14 of the School Code [105 ILCS 5/Art.14]. Illinois State Board of Education regulations are enacted to implement the requirements of the above federal and state laws. Those regulations are found in Title 23, Part 226, Subpart A of the Illinois Administrative Code (23 IAC 226.10 et seq.). The state board regulations then delegate to the individual school districts, the requirement of budgeting for special education instruction.

This is the long way around to explaining that any requirement concerning the number of minutes that you are assigned or used in delivering special education to students is entirely controlled by your school district's internal policies. And, while I don't have that policy available to review (because, among other things, I don't know in which school district you're employed, and even if I did, I probably wouldn't be able to find the special ed teacher policies online), experience suggests that the policy has some discretion authorized to the school principal, so that he/she can manage the school's personnel budget.

So, when you ask if the 200 minutes is possible or legal, etc., I am unable to answer the specific question. The best that I can do at this point is to suggest that you try to locate your school district's IEP employment policies, and then, if you cannot figure out your rights, I'll be happy to take a look at the policies and see if I can find anything that you may have missed.

However, there are some things that I can say are true with a high degree of certainty:

1. If you don't follow the instructions of the principal, you can be subject to discipline, suspension or termination of employment. So, until you figure out your rights, resisting the controls placed upon you will be futile.

2. Assuming that there is no specific rule/policy concerning the coteaching and minutes issues, then you can file a grievance with the school district superintendent and get a definitive answer.

3. Ultimately, if you believe that you are being denied pay for hours worked, then you can either refer to your union (and, if you have a union, then they probably know or can find out the answer to the policy question) -- or, you could bring a lawsuit against the school district for nonpayment of wages.

4. If the issue is trying to protect the students, then that is something that you would have to coordinate with a parent of a special needs child, because only the parent and child have standing to sue for unlawful discrimination in education. This is a case that the ACLU, or a private civil rights attorney would very likely accept in a hurry, because it would have a lot of media value, as well as a potentially large class action financial benefit.

In sum, I certainly understand your concerns -- but, there are limits to what I can provide in this forum, and I've tried to cover everything that I can possibly think of concerning this issue.

I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer -- otherwise, I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.

Thanks again for using Justanswer!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There really wasn't any type of answer provided here that helps me legally. It was an extremely generic answer that I could answer myself. I wanted to know if what was being done for my students was legal or not. There wasn't any advice here at all.
Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.

I regret that you find my efforts unhelpful. I actually spent about 30 minutes trying to find a specific answer, but, as I've explained, your question cannot be answered with certainty, by me or anyone else, without very specific knowledge of your school district's internal policies.

If you would like a refund, let me know and I'll send your request to customer service. Thanks again for using Justanswer!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Please send my request for a refund to customer service. I found more specific answers on Wrights Law with specific cases to sight. Thank you.
Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.

There is nothing on that website that would resolve your question in any manner different than I have already provided. In fact, there is nothing at all at the website that would answer your questions that were asked here and answered by me. But, I understand your circumstances. The Q&A Session has been sent to customer service for resolution.

Best wishes with your legal difficulties, and thanks again for using Justanswer!

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.

(posted in error -- please ignore)