ERIC Number: ED484719
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jul
Exceptional Children. Handbook on Parents' Rights
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
North Carolina has educated children with disabilities in its public schools since 1949-50, but it was not until 1977 that the General Assembly passed a law which required the state's public schools to provide special education for all children with disabilities. This law is Article 9, Special Education, of the North Carolina General Statutes, Section 115C-106 to 115C-150. It models the federal law, which is entitled "Individuals with Disabilities Education Act" (IDEA). In 1997, Congress reauthorized IDEA and regulations for implementing it were released to states in June 1999. These laws define special education as "specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parent, to meet the unique needs of the exceptional child and may include instruction provided in the classroom, in the home, in the hospital, and in residential facilities and other settings." Children with disabilities include those with autism, deafness, blindness, behavior emotional disabilities, hearing impairment, mental disabilities, multiple disabilities, other health impairment, orthopedic impairment, developmental delays, specific learning disabilities, speech language impairment, traumatic brain injury, and visual impairment. In North Carolina this includes pregnancy. These laws require that all eligible children with disabilities, age 3-20, be provided a free appropriate public education. Free appropriate public education, sometimes called FAPE, means that special education and related services based on the unique needs of the child will be provided: (1) at public expense without cost to the parents; (2) according to standards of the Public Schools of North Carolina, Department of Public Instruction; (3) for children in preschool, elementary, secondary or charter school in the state, and (4) according to an individualized education program (IEP) or written education program (WEP). The numbers listed after each heading in this book refer to the section for the citation in the IDEA regulations where the information is found. Parents of a child who is suspected to need or is identified as needing special education, have certain rights which are guaranteed by state and federal laws. Those laws require education agencies to fully inform parents of all available procedures relating to the identification, evaluation, placement, delivery of services, educational records, and complaint resolution. The purpose of this handbook is to provide parents with information about their rights, the rights of their child, and the responsibilities of the local education agency (LEA) toward meeting the special needs of their child. The term LEA means any school program conducted by a public agency and approved by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. In North Carolina, this includes county, city, and charter schools. Charter schools are public schools and must follow the same regulations and procedures as other public schools regarding students with disabilities.
Descriptors: Parent Materials, Public Agencies, School Districts, Related Services (Special Education), Disabilities, Federal Legislation, Public Education, Learning Disabilities, State Legislation, Civil Rights
NC Department of Public Instruction, 301 N. Wilmington Street, Raleigh, NC 27601-2825. Web site: http://www.ncpublicschools.org.
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: North Carolina Department of Public Instruction