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Experts gather in New Orleans to discuss special education reform

Loyola press release - February 18, 2013

A conference focusing on the impact of special education reforms on laws and practices is the central topic of a daylong event at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. “Special Education in a New Era of Reform” will be held Friday, March 1 in room 308 at the College of Law. It is free and open to the public. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., and the conference runs 9 a.m. to 3:35 p.m. Attorneys can earn five hours of Louisiana Continuing Legal Education credit for $125.

A panel of experts from across the United States will analyze reform efforts and discuss topics including the impact of school vouchers on special education students, the availability and quality of special education in charter schools, identifying students with special needs and achieving special education reform through class-action lawsuits.

“Over the last 20 years, general education has undergone a dramatic transformation. New-era education reforms include outcome-based accountability, school vouchers, charter schools and state takeovers of failing schools. During the same time period, special education has remained virtually static,” said Robert A. Garda, Jr., J.D., the Fanny Edith Winn Distinguished Professor of Law at Loyola and one of the organizers of this event.

Additional panelists include:

  • Marcia Arceneaux, J.D., Ph.D., former Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and No Child Left Behind compliance attorney, Recovery School District
  • John Borkowski, J.D., Washington D.C.-based Hogan Lovells law firm
  • Ruth Colker, J.D., distinguished university professor and Heck Faust Memorial Chair in Constitutional Law, Ohio State University
  • Eden Heilman, J.D. ’06, senior staff attorney, Montgomery, Ala.-based Southern Poverty Law Center
  • Wendy Hensel, J.D., associate dean for research and faculty development and professor of law, Georgia State University
  • Mark Weber, J.D., St. Vincent de Paul Professor of Law, DePaul University
  • Paul Grossman, J.D., chief regional civil rights attorney, U.S. Department of Education (retired)