Can a State agency refuse to fund a one on one assistant for a delayed child during a summer school program?
Child in question has Down syndrome and displays atypical aggressive behaviors. The school district recognizes the need for a one-on-one assistant during the regular school year and has provided funding for this service for the past two school years. The approved summer school program is a non-profit agency serving the developmentally delayed population. The child's IEP fully discusses the use of a one-on-one assistant to prevent the child from harming himself and his peers and to enhance the child's opportunity to learn and advance. The state agency responded that it could not authorize a one-on-one assistant without current Incident Reports. State wants the Program to provide current incident reports prior to authorizing a one-on-one. Arizona has copies of IEPs.
1 attorney answer
The answer to your question depends on whether the summer program is part of an extended school year (ESY) program in the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) or any other school program. Generally, a school must provide all of the accommodations that a student needs to access an ESY program or other school program, including an instructional assistant if appropriate. If the program is a private or parent selected summer school, then the school is generally not required to provide accommodations such as instructional assistants to facilitate the student’s attendance.
If you want to pursue this matter further, you should contact an education attorney licensed to practice in Arizona. The State Bar of Arizona provides information about lawyer referral services to get you started at http://www.azbar.org/WorkingWithLawyers/Topics/HowtoFindandHireaLawyer. The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, a special education advocacy group, also provides a directory of attorneys and advocates at http://www.copaa.org/find-a-resource/find-an-attorney/.
This answer is given for informational purposes only and is NOT legal advice. This answer does not establish a lawyer-client relationship. If you need legal advice and assistance you should contact an attorney in your local area immediately.