ERIC Number: EJ1088823
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Sep
Issues of Policy and Law in Transition Services: Implications for Special Education Leaders
Petcu, Stefania D.; Yell, Mitchell L.; Cholewicki, Judith M.; Plotner, Anthony J.
Journal of Special Education Leadership, v27 n2 p66-75 Sep 2014
The successful transition into adulthood of students with disabilities should be a priority for parents, students, educators, and leaders in special education. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) amendments of 1990 first mandated transition services for individuals with disabilities. Subsequent amendments to the IDEA in 1997 and 2004 strengthened these provisions. The IDEA amendments of 2004, also known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA), provided the most recent definition of transition services and the procedural requirements that must be followed when teams develop an individualized education program (IEP) that addresses transition planning. Although transition planning and programming have been in the law for more than a decade, literature on transition planning and programming in special education has described such programming as inconsistent and inadequate. In fact, failing to address transition services at all is one of the 10 most common mistakes that school district personnel make when developing students' IEPs. Thus, developing legally correct and educationally appropriate IEPs that satisfy the transition services requirements of IDEA continue to be a challenge for special education administrators and IEP team members. Court decisions represent an important source of legal influence on the education of students with disabilities. The analysis of court decisions can help educators better understand their legal responsibilities and rights under the IDEA, as well as the criteria used by courts to evaluate whether legal requirements are met. Two previous reviews examined court cases regarding transition services. The purpose of this review is to analyze the judicial decisions from 2005 to 2013 and to identify issues that school districts have in implementing the transition requirements of the IDEA by (1) explaining the nature of these errors; (2) identifying the elements that courts consider in analyzing transition planning and programming; and (3) providing examples of types of supports schools districts leaders can offer to educators, parents, and students in order avoid such errors.
Descriptors: Special Education, Disabilities, Developmental Tasks, Federal Legislation, Educational Legislation, Equal Education, Individualized Transition Plans, Individualized Education Programs, Court Litigation, Teacher Responsibility, Laws, Evaluation Criteria, Decision Making, School Districts, Parent Participation, Postsecondary Education, Student Rights, Student Evaluation
Council of Administrators of Special Education. Fort Valley State University, 1005 State University Drive, Fort Valley, GA 31030. Tel: 478-825-7667; Fax: 478-825-7811; Web site: http://www.casecec.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act