Too many children, including those in the foster care and juvenile justice systems, experience a disproportionate rate of school failure and are particularly vulnerable to dropping out. To address their education needs, the Michigan Children’s Law Center (MCLC) has established an Education Advocacy Unit (EAU) to ensure that children receive the support, services, and structure they need to be successful in school.
The EAU focuses its efforts on addressing the educational needs of the children it represents in three main areas:
First, special education – the EAU ensures that any eligible child receives an Individualized Education Program (IEP), monitors the child’s IEP to make sure that the services called for in the IEP are provided, and works with families, foster care placements, and school to determine if other services are needed.
Second, school transfer and transportation – the EAU helps address education issues related to enrollment, records transfer, and transportation.
Third, school discipline – the EAU advocates for children facing suspension or expulsion and encourages the use of positive behavioral interventions and alternative forms of discipline.
By taking this holistic approach to child advocacy and addressing the child’s education needs, MCLC eliminates many of the academic and behavioral issues that can undermine a child’s educational success, disrupt the permanency plan of a child in foster care, result in suspension or expulsion of a child from school, increase the child’s likelihood of dropping out of school altogether, and/or lead the child into the school-to-prison pipeline.
For further information, please contact any of the following attorneys:
Fred Gruber, Executive Director