In a recent guidance letter, the federal Office of Special Education Programs (“OSEP”) explained that a local educational agency (“LEA”) may not condition holding an IEP meeting on a parent’s attorney not participating or on the parent providing prior notice of its intent to invite the attorney. Letter to Andel, 116 LRP 8548 (February 17, 2016). In Letter to Andel, OSEP reiterated its longstanding position that the attendance of attorneys at IEP meetings “should be strongly discouraged” due to the potential for creating an adversarial atmosphere. Despite this position, OSEP pointed out that IDEA’s implementing regulations permit a parent or an LEA to invite to the IEP meeting individuals with special expertise regarding the child. However, while the regulations require the LEA to notify the parent in advance regarding who will attend an IEP meeting, there is no corresponding obligation on the part of the parent. OSEP stated that in the “spirit of cooperation,” the parent should inform the LEA ahead of time if he/she intends to bring an attorney. Often times, attorneys, as a matter of professional courtesy, will notify the LEA or its attorney if they intend on participating in an IEP meeting. However, there is nothing in the IDEA or its implementing regulations that would permit an LEA to conduct an IEP meeting on the condition that the parent’s attorney not participate. Therefore, when a parent unexpectedly brings his/her attorney to an IEP meeting, OSEP explained that it would be permissible for an LEA to reschedule the meeting to another date and time so that it could include its own attorney under the following circumstances: (1) the parent agrees to reschedule, and (2) the postponement does not result in a delay or denial of FAPE to the child.
Over a nearly two-year period, the last years of the Obama administration (FY2015 – FY2016), Homeland Security and the Department of Justice spent $138 million on new guns and ammunition. That seems reasonable.
What’s curious, however, is that traditionally administrative agencies spent more than $20 million. Four notable examples:
1) The 2,300 Special Agents at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are allowed to carry AR-15’s, P90 tactical rifles, and other heavy weaponry. Recently, the IRS armed up with $1.2 million in new ammunition. This was in addition to the $11 million procurement of guns, ammunition, and military-style equipment procured between 2006-2014.
2) The Small Business Administration (SBA) spent tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars to load its gun locker with Glocks last year. The SBA wasn’t alone – the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service modified their Glocks with silencers.
3) The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has a relatively new police force. In 1996, the VA had zero employees with arrest and firearm authority. Today, the VA has 3,700 officers, armed with millions of dollars’ worth of guns and ammunition including AR-15’s, Sig Sauer handguns, and semi-automatic pistols.
4) Meanwhile, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) agents carry the same sophisticated weapons platforms used by our Special Forces military warriors. The HHS gun locker is housed in a new “National Training Operations Center” – a facility at an undisclosed location within the DC beltway.
It’s dead. Cook County Board unceremoniously repeals sweetened-beverage tax, 15 yes, 2 no. Effective December 1, 2017
In a democracy it is especially important that citizens have access to information so they can actively participate in government and make good choices on Election Day; at Leyden School District 212, transparency is the best way to promote #leydenpride
As Thomas Jefferson said, “An informed citizenry is the only true repository of the public will.”
Elected officials should stop making excuses on why they can’t be more transparent.
Leyden SD 212 regularly affirms their commitment to transparency in their governance.
But are their actions implementing their statement supporting “transparency” ?
An intense review of Leyden SD 212 website calls their commitment for “transparency” into question. when you cannot even find the “Board of Education policies” on their website.
The policies are basic to school district governance and the only way that you can get a copy of the Leyden High School SD 212 Board Policies is to file a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request with the school district.
So as a taxpayer of Leyden SD 212, and for many as a parent or student of Leyden SD212 to review the governance documents of the District you have to file a FOIA .
Yet numerous adjacent grammar and high school districts have their policies on line.
So why, as the District that continuously articulates its desire to provide transparency in its governance, SD212 does not publish its governing documents on their own website ?
I had to file a FOIA to get a copy of the governance boards policies.
I am posting a link to a copy of Leyden High School District 212 Policies.
Please go to this link to review Leyden High School District 212 policies:
I hope that my Blog article will encourage SD 212 to pursue their stated goal of transparency more aggressively to provide access to the governing policies of Leyden High Schools for the students, parents and taxpayers of the District.
Until the SD 212 decides to portray their words of transparency in action by posting their governing Board policies you can refer to my blog page to review the policies.
I will have more to say about transparency at Leyden School District 212 in the future; I am hoping to provoke a conversation as to how the Leyden Board of Education should implement their commitment to “transparency” .
True “transparency” at Leyden School District 212 will promote #leyden pride.
Let’s all encourage the Leyden High School Board Of Education SD 212 to post their Board policies !