Special Education FAQ for Parents

There are two times during the year that I get the most calls from parents of special needs students: (1) when IEPs are being developed in the spring, and (2) at the beginning of each school year when parents become concerned about whether their child’s school is following their new IEP. So in honor of …

The Argument for Early Childhood Education

Access to affordable, quality early childhood education is a critical piece missing from the education system in this country. Children from poor families who live in impoverished areas benefit significantly from quality early childhood education. Yet, it’s those same families who struggle the most with the availability and affordability of quality care. An article published in …

An Introduction to Best Buddies Arkansas

In 2015, I was asked to serve on the State Advisory Board for Best Buddies Arkansas, the local affiliate to Best Buddies International. Founded by Anthony Shriver in 1989, Best Buddies International is the world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical, and economic isolation of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Best Buddies does …

What Level of Education Does the IDEA Require?

This is a question that plagues parents and teachers of special education students almost daily. And though the U.S. Supreme Court has remained silent on the issue since 1982, it looks as if it won’t remain silent for much longer. Today, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, in …

What Happens if I Break My Teacher’s Contract?

It’s hard to believe, but another school year starts in Arkansas in less than three weeks. Even at this late date, some school districts are still trying to fill positions that have gone unfilled all summer. It’s this time of year when I get questions from teachers who have already signed a contract with one school …

RIF Policies and the Teacher Fair Dismissal Act

I’ve summarized the Arkansas Teacher Fair Dismissal Act (TFDA) in a previous post, but since that time, I’ve received several phone calls, emails, and comments from readers who’ve asked how a school district’s Reduction-In-Force (RIF) policy might affect, or be affected by, the TFDA. Rather than reply to each reader separately, I’ve decided to write a …

The Little Rock School District Saga

On January 28, 2015, the Arkansas State Board of Education voted 5-4 to take over the Little Rock School District, at least in part due to the academic distress classification of six (6) of the district’s 48 schools. The State Board disbanded the district’s community-elected school board, and weeks later, the district’s superintendent, Dexter Suggs, …

Goodbye to Arne Duncan

Late last week, Arne Duncan announced that he would resign as Education Secretary in December of this year. Duncan’s reign as Secretary has been anything but quiet, as he’s drawn significant criticism during his tenure for leading an active agenda for the Department of Education. In Duncan’s first year on the job, his department received …