An exploratory study of the presentation of special education law in administrative preparation programs for aspiring administrators

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University of Alabama Libraries

Administrators must have a strong command of education and special education law. Case law rulings, additions to procedural safeguards, and legislation in the area of special education are demonstrative of the need for additional training in the area of law for preservice administrators to increase their competency level. Valesky and Hirth (1992) examined training received by administrators in administrative preparation programs and the number of due processes and complaints received at the State Department of Education level for each state. This study uses the results of the seventeen-year old study as a baseline of information to review the impact of IDEA 1997, NCLB 2001, and the reauthorization of the IDEIA 2004 on licensure requirements, numbers of complaints, appeals, and due process hearings. This study found no significant differences between clock hours of special education law presented in administrator preparation programs and complaints, due process hearings requests, and fully adjudicated hearings. The overall presence of special education law has increased tremendously since Valesky and Hirth (1992) investigated the topic prior to IDEA 1997. Descriptive conclusions were based on the continued abundance of complaints, due process hearing requests, and fully adjudicated hearings. After almost twenty years of reform efforts, a large percentage of university administrator preparation programs are not increasing the time focused on special education law; special education litigation continues to be faced by many school districts across the United States.

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Education, Administration, Special education