Education Advocacy Program

About The Program

At the Children’s Law Center, we aim to ensure that all students in Colorado—especially those who have experienced trauma or instability—are able to access appropriate educational services and reach their full potential. 

In all cases, our multidisciplinary team works to address our clients’ complex challenges and to protect their rights. In special education cases, we are at the table with our clients’ IEP or 504 teams, advocating for comprehensive evaluations and better programming. In school discipline cases, we challenge suspension and expulsion decisions and exclusionary practices, especially when a district has failed to consider our client’s unique needs and circumstances. In bullying cases, we push districts to implement safety planning and supportive services to address the harms our students have experienced. When matters cannot be resolved at the school-level, we can represent clients in formal administrative proceedings.

We also seek to address systemic barriers to educational equity for students across our state. Our direct representation work serving students often shows us how systems are or are not working well for students, allowing us to then advocate to improve the administration of justice within the education system. We advocate for policies and practices that are trauma-informed and supportive of the unique needs of students. By advocating for improvement in policy and practice, we hope to address the current struggles that our clients are facing and push for systemic change so that future students do not experience the same difficulties.

How We Can Help

Our team advocates for students and their families across a wide variety of education issues, including, but not limited to:

  • Special Education
    • Special education evaluations (e.g., requesting evaluations, advocating for students to be found eligible for special education services)
    • IEPs and Section 504 Plans
      • Concerns about implementation (schools following an IEP or 504 plan)
      • Concerns about service levels (e.g., amount of speech, OT, PT)
      • Concerns about a student’s progress
      • Concerns about a student’s IEP placement
      • Advocating for appropriate behavioral supports
    • Manifestation Determination Reviews
  • School Discipline
    • Repeated suspensions
    • Expulsion referrals
    • Early send homes and shortened school days
    • Threat assessment referrals
  • Enrollment, School Transfers, & School Stability
  • Title IX Investigations

This is not an exhaustive list as we know that there are so many issues that may impact a student’s educational opportunities. All services are provided statewide on a sliding scale basis. If you need assistance in addressing an education issue, please contact our office for more information.

We also offer education law trainings for parents, caregivers, and professionals. If this would be beneficial to your organization, reach out to explore opportunities!