Special Education Legal Defense Fund
Children with disabilities who meet the criteria under IDEA are entitled to a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). Usually this comes in the form of services at public schools. Getting these special education services is not always easy. Families are often stuck knowing that their children need more help but unsure how to make that happen. Some parents do not have the expertise needed to appropriately collaborate with school districts to effectively push for what the child needs. Sometimes the IEP team will refuse to do what the parents believe is in the best interest for the student. It is difficult to go against the school experts even when you know the law is on your side. Getting appropriate help and representation for IEP/504 meetings, complaint filings, Due Process hearings, etc. is an expense that most families cannot afford.
Missouri Disability Empowerment Foundation has created the Special Education Legal Defense Fund. This fund will be used to provide grants to tackle systemic issues present in the current special education system in Missouri by providing funds for professional advocates and lawyers to assist families with these issues. To be able to do this, MoDE Foundation needs your help in funding these grants. Our goal is to be able to start awarding grants the beginning of 2022.