The MLO Minute, By Nancy Potter, Esq.
Many of the parents we represent are interested in how to support other students with disabilities in their schools or how to get involved to improve the overall experience in their schools for students with disabilities. For parents in Pennsylvania, one way to get involved in systemic work while accessing information and training to help their own child is through their Local Taskforce on the Right to Education (LTF).
What is an LTF? On May 5, 1972, the Federal District Court for Eastern Pennsylvania made final the order, injunction, stipulation and consent agreement in the suit filed by PARC, currently The Arc of Pennsylvania, against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Secretary of the Department of Education, the State Board of Education, the Secretary of the Department of Public Welfare and all their instrumentalities on behalf of 13 Children with intellectual disabilities who had been denied access to public education.
The agreement mandated the development of COMPILE and COMPET, as well as the establishment of due process procedures. These documents were developed through the coordinated effort of the Pennsylvania Departments of Education and PARC. They were reviewed for contents and approved. COMPILE provided for the establishment of a state task force and 29 local task forces (one in each intermediate unit) whose primary purpose is to help assure that the intent and spirit of the right to Education Consent Decree was carried out. In 1975, Public Law 94-142 was passed, which guarantees all children with disabilities a free, appropriate, public education in the least restrictive environment.
LTFs are parent majority organizations that work collaboratively with administrators from the intermediate units, school districts, and with community agencies to improve, strengthen, and expand educational services for students with disabilities. The LTFs also serve as liaisons and information resources for families. Each IU in Pennsylvania has its own LTF. In addition, the LTFs are information resources for families of students who receive special education services in district schools, charter schools, or Approved Private Schools (APS). The state LTF meets 5 times a year and local LTFs meet as often as monthly during the school year.
To get involved in your local LTF, reach out to the Chairperson and ask for this year’s meeting schedule. PaTTAN keeps an up to date list of contact information and meeting schedules at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-5acLxQ_k0Oohn0-R2hVEtaqtbrN6PEf/view . The attorneys at McAndrews Law Offices are available to come speak at your LTF meetings and share vital information with families. Call us today at 610-648-9300 or Contact Us Here!