Federal & State Laws

Federal & State Laws

Representing Clients in New York & Nationwide

Parents of children with disabilities nationwide can benefit from a basic understanding of Federal and State laws regarding special education for children with disabilities. Knowing your rights and the school district’s obligations makes you a more informed parent and a more effective advocate for your child.

Goldstein, Ackerhalt & Pletcher, LLP is a law firm serving families of children with disabilities and this experience has given us a deep understanding of both Federal law and New York State special education laws and regulations. We can help educate you about your rights and how the law affects your child. You can also rely on our special education attorneys for assistance in working with the school district to provide for your child’s education.

Federal Laws for Special Education

The most important law governing education of students with disabilities is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This federal law guarantees children with disabilities the right to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), which includes special education, related services and any necessary modifications and assistance the child needs to succeed in school. The core of this law is the process of creating and implementing an Individualized Education Program (IEP), which lists in detail the goals and milestones for your child and the services (and placement) the school will provide to help him or her reach them.

Federal law also includes the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504, which list requirements for accessibility and inclusion of students with disabilities in the activities they choose. Goldstein, Ackerhalt & Pletcher, LLP is a disabilities education law firm that supports families of children with disabilities in securing the services their children are entitled to under these laws.

New York State Laws for Special Education

New York State has passed additional laws to complement IDEA and other Federal regulations. The details are fairly complicated, but New York has generally made more services available than required by IDEA, including services for students with disabilities at private schools. New York Education Law provides for a system of dual enrollment in both private and public school programs. This law empowers students with disabilities to receive, from the school district in which the private school is located, an IEP and a FAPE to meet the student’s needs.

In New York State, your child's IEP is made by the Committee on Special Education (CSE) or Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE). Goldstein, Ackerhalt & Pletcher, LLP can accompany you to meetings with the CSE/CPSE and help you prepare to work with them.

If you have questions about New York Stat e or Federal Special Education laws, please contact Goldstein, Ackerhalt & Pletcher, LLP to schedule a free consultation.