Nevada Education Lawyer

Education Law and education lawyers deal with laws relating to federal and state education: schools, school systems, and school boards.  This includes the operation of educational institutions, school athletics, school related programs, and instructional methods and materials.  Education law encompasses all those issues arising from school faculty, staff, and students such as school discipline and discrimination based upon race, religion, color, gender, national origin, and disability.  For obvious reasons, education law is often referred to as “school law.”

Each state, including the state of Nevada, develops, maintains, and operates its own education system.  A national curriculum is actually forbidden by federal law (The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which was recently reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind Act (2001.)  ESEA authorizes funds for instructional materials, professional development, education programs, and parental involvement programs.

Education Law has a Successful History
Education lawyers have a rich history of successes:  Schools are no longer segregated; female athletes have equal access to sports equipment and facilities; the mentally disabled have access to mainstream facilities with school funded assistance; the physically handicapped have access to all educational facilities; and the poor and disadvantaged students have the right to transfer to better schools than those provided in their neighborhood.


Education Law FAQs

If everyone has access to equal education, what education law issues remain?
General rules of equal access to education have been established; yet, education law issues remain.  There are and will be school related issues, especially in the area of school funding and children with disabilities.  For example, some yet to be established issues include :  which disabled students should be included in standardized scholastic testing measuring school achievement;  whether it is legal for a blind student to be allowed a seeing-eye dog, but a deaf student is not allowed a dog guide;  whether a blind student should participate in regular gym class.

What are some of the disabilities that affect how children participate in the classroom?
Some of the most common disabilities that affect children in the classroom include Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD); Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); autism; learning disabilities, including dyslexia and other reading problems; blindness, hearing impairments; physical disabilities; and Asperger’s Syndrome.
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) provides that “disability” is “defined as impairment that substantially affects one or more major life activity; an individual who has a record of having such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment.”

What is special education law?
Special education law is the law that supports every school aged child who has a disability and qualifies under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
For example, a child with dyslexia or a blind child would be children who have a disability and who qualify under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.  The dyslexic child’s Individual Education Plan  (IEP) may provide extra time to complete a task; the blind child’s IEP may provide books in Braille or that a test is read to the student aloud.
Each qualifying student must given a free and appropriate public education, customized IEP.  The IEP must meet the individual needs of the student, in the least restrictive environment.


Education Law Glossary

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits discrimination based on disability.

Individualized Education Plan
An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) outlines a child’s disability, goals, progress toward goals, and special classroom or testing accommodations.  The IEP must meet the individual needs of the student, in the least restrictive environment.

Mainstreaming
Mainstreaming is the now common practice of placing special needs children in the regular classroom for as much of the day as is best for the child.  Mainstreaming is part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act’s requirement that accommodations must be met in the least restrictive environment.

Accommodations
Accommodations are changes in the classroom that must be made for students who have an IEP; the goal is to provide a supportive environment to lessen the effect of the disability but not to substantially alter what testing measures.  For example, a child with dyslexia may be given extra time to take a test or only be tested on 10 spelling words instead of 20.