Partner Gregory Rolen Weighs In on Secretary Betsy DeVos and Special Education

In his radio interview with KABC Gurvey’s Law, Partner Gregory Rolen weighed in on the recent appointment of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and the potential impact she could have on special education.

“We don’t have a lot of information about Secretary DeVos’ philosophy or ideology on special education, and her confirmation hearing didn’t shed much light on that. All we know is that when Senator Kaine asked her if any school that receives public funding should follow the IDEA – The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act – she said that’s a matter left up to the states,” said Rolen. “She was pressed on the subject and she said she may have been confused and that she’s sensitive to students with special needs.”

“One of the positives that may come from this is now education policy has had a light shined on it,” he added.

Rolen also discussed how Secretary DeVos could impact issues outlined in his recent article published in California Lawyer “The Scope of the IDEA Statute.”

“Special education in California and throughout the Country is an underfunded mandate. The original intent of the IDEA was that the federal government would fund 40% of it, and right now they’re funding 16%” said Rolen. “The primary concern here in California is that if more federal dollars are diverted to alternatives, that parents and school districts would be fighting over a smaller piece of the pie and make an already ugly litigation more contentious.”

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February 11, 2017