Sam Blakeslee Ph.D.
Existing law requires local educational agencies to initiate, and individualized education program teams to conduct, meetings for the purposes of developing, reviewing, and revising the individualized education program of each individual with exceptional needs, as specified. Existing law also provides that it is the intent of the Legislature that parties to special education disputes be encouraged to seek resolution through mediation in a nonadversarial atmosphere, which may not be attended by attorneys or other independent contractors used to provide legal advocacy services, prior to filing a request for a due process hearing. Existing law provides, however, that this does not preclude the parent or public agency from being accompanied and advised by nonattorney representatives in mediation conferences. This bill would authorize a special education local plan area, in collaboration with the State Department of Education, to develop a voluntary special education advocate certification program for persons who would participate, upon the invitation of a parent, as a member of a pupil's individualized education program team, or, upon the invitation of a parent, in a mediation conference, as specified. The bill would authorize a special education local plan area to provide alternative dispute resolution training, and require the Board of Behavioral Sciences to administer a test, to persons seeking certification, as specified. The bill would also require the Board of Behavioral Sciences to certify persons who have successfully passed the test and completed the training. The bill would require a certified special education advocate to disclose his or her relationship to the pupil or his or her parents, as specified. Existing law provides that upon receipt by the Superintendent of Public Instruction of a written request for a due process hearing regarding a proposal or refusal to initiate or change the identification, assessment, or educational placement of a child with exceptional needs, the provision of a free appropriate public education to the child, or the availability of a program appropriate for the child, including the question of financial responsibility, from the parent or guardian or public agency, the Superintendent or his or her designee or designees immediately shall notify, in writing, all parties and provide them with a list of persons and organizations within the geographical area that can provide free or reduced cost representation or other assistance in preparing for the due process hearing. Existing law provides that the Superintendent or his or her designee shall have complete discretion in determining which individuals or groups shall be included on the list. This bill would require the Superintendent or his or her designee to certify that the listed persons, including certified special education advocates, or organizations provide services for free or at a reduced cost.
Returned to Secretary of Senate pursuant to Joint Rule 56.
Held in committee and under submission.
Set for hearing May 26.
Placed on APPR. suspense file.
Set for hearing May 16.
From committee: Do pass as amended and re-refer to Com. on APPR. (Ayes 9. Noes 0. Page 760.) (April 27).
Set for hearing April 27.
From printer. May be acted upon on or after March 19.
Introduced. Read first time. To Com. on RLS. for assignment. To print.
|Bill Text Versions||Format|
|02/16/11 - Introduced|
|03/25/11 - Amended Senate|
|04/25/11 - Amended Senate|
|05/04/11 - Amended Senate|
|05/31/11 - Amended Senate|
|No related documents.|
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