Practice Areas

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides federal funding to help States, school districts and other educational entities improve educational results for children with disabilities. In exchange, States and local school districts must meet numerous requirements aimed at increasing accountability.

The attorneys at Brustein & Manasevit provide legal advice to our clients to help them comply with the programmatic and fiscal requirements of IDEA. We regularly advise clients nationwide on:

  • Programmatic and fiscal requirements under Parts B and C of IDEA;
  • Assessment of students with disabilities and other testing issues;
  • State complaint and due-process proceedings;
  • Requirements for student evaluations, placement, creations and delivery of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and disciplinary procedures;
  • Fiscal requirements, including but not limited to, SEA-level and LEA-level set-asides, LEA allocations, excess cost requirements, maintenance of effort, supplement not supplant;Maintenance of effort and its relationship with early intervening services set-aside requirements;
  • The nature of relationships between charter schools and local educational agencies, specifically regarding oversight and monitoring responsibilities for disabled students;
  • The understanding between charter schools and local educational agencies regarding the provision of services to disabled students;
  • Grants management requirements; and
  • IDEA relationship with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Our Firm defends SEAs and LEAs against adverse audit actions, and other enforcement measures, as well as represents such clients in appeals of program determinations, including denials of waivers of maintenance of state financial support (MSFS), brought by the U.S. Department of Education. Our Firm also defends local LEA-charter schools against due process complaints brought under the IDEA and complaints filed with the U.S. Education Department, Office of Civil Rights. Our firm is well-versed in the administrative appeals and litigation process, and our attorneys have long-established relationships with the Office of General Counsel, the Office of Inspector General, and the program offices of the U.S. Department of Education.

The most proactive approach to resolving federal education program compliance problems is to avoid their occurrence. To this end, the Firm provides training seminars and workshops on fiscal and programmatic requirements of the IDEA and other federal education programs. In addition, our attorneys conduct mock verification visits of SEAs and LEAs to prepare these entities for verification visits by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). Our attorneys also provide legislative services to keep State and local educational agencies informed about changes to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act. Finally, our attorneys have published numerous books and articles on the provisions of the IDEA and other federal education programs.