One of the unintended consequences of the proliferation of charter schools is that, unlike public school districts, they can easily go bankrupt or lose their charter and close. While such closures are painful for all the enrolled students and their families, already vulnerable students with educational disabilities are especially exposed. Not only must they often find an alternative placement on short notice, but there will frequently be a lag in provision of services at their new school. Because these closures are rarely telegraphed in advance, timing often renders the option of other charter schools or special admission public schools unavailable.
Another consequence of such closings is the complicating of avenues for challenging decisions of those school that continue to dog special needs students. If a charter school makes an agreement with a parent, then disappears, what is the parent to do? If a charter school fails to identify or inadequately identifies a child’s disability, or owes a child compensatory education for services not provided, how does a parent pursue the traditional administrative processes for relief? And how do parents without resources get a lawyer to help them?
On December 5, 2016, those questions were answered in a case brought by Popper & Yatvin partner Alan L. Yatvin: R.V. Individually and on Behalf of S.V-W., a Minor, v. Pedro A. Rivera, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Education, E.D.Pa. Civil Action No. 16-2277. Continue reading “Protecting special needs students when charter schools close”
On Thursday, November 19, 2015, at 11am ET, Popper & Yatvin partner, Alan L. Yatvin, will be a guest on Knowledge@Wharton, a daily, call-in business interview program, broadcasting live on Sirius XM from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Alan will be speaking with host Dan Loney about the rights of children with diabetes. Joining them will be Dr. Steven Willi, medical director of the Diabetes Center for Children at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
The broadcast will repeat that night at 11pm ET. After that it will be online on SiriusXM’s On Demand feature for the next seven days, channel 111. If you do not have a SiriusXM subscription, an alternative is linking to the 30-day free trial subscription to SiriusXM.
Alan Yatvin has represented numerous families of students with diabetes who faced discrimination because of their medical condition. He served as the American Diabetes Association (ADA) national chair of legal advocacy from 2010 – 2013. He is currently a member of the ADA Board of Directors.
Popper & Yatvin partner Alan L. Yatvin was a member of the writing group for Diabetes Care in the School Setting: A Position Statement of the American Diabetes Association, published in the journal Diabetes Care, October 2015 vol. 38 no. 10 1958-1963.
Popper & Yatvin partner Alan L. Yatvin was quoted by The New York Times in an October 27, 2015, article: Many Schools Failing on Type 1 Diabetes Care. The article highlights the failure of many schools to provide students with type 1 diabetes with the routine care they need, and the fact that often parents do not know they have the legal right to insist on such accommodations.
Yatvin has represented numerous families of students with diabetes who faced discrimination because of their medical condition. He served as American Diabetes Association (ADA) national chair of legal advocacy from 2010 – 2013. He is currently a member of the ADA Board of Directors.
Four year old Marissa really needed a preschool. Her mother, Evelyn, was struggling with intensive treatment for breast cancer and her father had a chronic, progressive disease that required him to use a wheelchair. But Marissa was full of life and ready to get going on her education. She wanted to start preschool, but her low income family could not pay for it themselves. Fortunately, Marissa got into a publicly funded Head Start prekindergarten program sponsored by her public school district. After starting in September she had a fabulous three months. She practically jumped out of her skin with excitement every morning as her grandmother, Helena, helped her get ready for school. Then she began her school day enjoying a federally funded breakfast with her classmates. Afterwards she zipped through a full day of learning and play. Once a week she met with a speech and language therapist to get help with her speech disability. Continue reading “Marissa’s Story”
Emily, a 1st grade student in a Pennsylvania school district, was identified in 2008 as a student with a disability needing special education. Dissatisfied with the school’s plan to address Emily’s needs, her parents enrolled her in The Benchmark School, a private school with a program to address her needs, particularly in reading.
Emily’s parents then hired Popper & Yatvin partner Alan Yatvin to represent them. Yatvin filed an administrative complaint with the Pennsylvania Office of Dispute Resolution, requesting reimbursement for Emily’s tuition, along with transportation to Benchmark. Following a three day hearing, the Pennsylvania Special Education Hearing Officer ruled on April 21, 2009, that the school district had failed to offer Emily an appropriate educational program, and ordered the school district to pay Emily’s tuition and provide her transportation. Continue reading “Yatvin defeats certiorari in U.S. Supreme Court, preserves special education victory”
On March 28, 2015, Alan Yatvin presented at the Annual Conference of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Living Well with Diabetes: Now and in the Future.
Alan’s session was entitled: Keeping Kids with Diabetes Safe at School. Attendees included parents, children with diabetes, healthcare providers, advocates and even a diabetes service dog in training. Continue reading “Yatvin gives Diabetes Safe at School Presentation”
Popper & Yatvin partner Alan L. Yatvin was a member of the writing group for Care of Young Children With Diabetes in the Child Care Setting: A Position Statement of the American Diabetes Association, published September 23, 2014, in the journal Diabetes Care, October 2014 vol. 37 no. 10 2834-2842.
The statement addresses legal protections for young children with diabetes and how they can be safely cared for by childcare providers with appropriate training, access to resources and a system of communication with parents and the child’s diabetes health care provider. Continue reading “Care of Young Children With Diabetes in the Child Care Setting: A Position Statement of the American Diabetes Association”
The August issue of Diabetes Forecast profiles Alan Yatvin’s work on behalf of students with diabetes. Click here to read the article.
On November 26th The Legal Intelligencer published Charter School Reform Must Protect Vulnerable Students, by David Lapp, a staff attorney at the Education Law Center (ELC). This excellent piece discusses a problem which we have often seen in our practice – charter schools believing they can operate like private schools, without regard to the rights of special needs students.
Continue reading “Students with disabilities in Pa. charter schools”