Lori E. Arons

Lori E. Arons

Special Education Lawyer
  • Education Law
  • New Jersey, New York
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Summary

In 1996, approximately a year after becoming licensed to practice law, Lori "hung a shingle" and started a general practice in New City, New York. For more than a decade, she handled a wide variety of civil matters including commercial litigation, collections, divorce, real estate, personal injury, etc.

After having children, Lori was thrust into the world of special education as she had to advocate for her own children. Lori ran into the same roadblocks as many other parents, but refused to take "no" for an answer.

Having herself been through the IEP process, due process proceedings, and appeals to the Federal District Court of New Jersey and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, Lori is uniquely qualified to assist families of children with disabilities who are concerned that their child is not receiving the Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) promised by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). In the last decade, Lori determined to concentrate her practice exclusively in the area of special education law. She understands the plight of parents of children with special needs, and is passionate about empowering them with the knowledge of State and Federal laws so they too can obtain an appropriate education and related services for their children.

Practice Area
  • Education Law
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
New Jersey
New York
3rd Circuit
Education
New York Law School
J.D. (1994)
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Pace University
B.B.A. (1991) | Management & Entrepreneurship
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Professional Associations
New Jersey Special Education Practitioners
Member
Current
American Bar Association
Member
Current
New York State Bar Association
Member
Current
Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates
Member
Current
New Jersey State Bar Association
Member
Current
Speaking Engagements
Mediation and Due Process, Child Means Child presentation on Special Education Law, Offices of Child Means Child
Child Means Child
Know Your Rights, Clifton P.R.A.I.S.E., Allwood Library, Clifton NJ
Child Means Child
Panel Member, presenting on the dispute resolution process
Special Education Due Process Program, Parents New to Special Education, Teaneck Public Library Auditorium
Melody Arons Center For Applied Preschool and Education Research
Panel Member, presenting on dispute resolution
Certifications
Certificate in Special Education Advocacy
William & Mary Marshall-Wythe School of Law
Websites & Blogs
Website
Blog
Legal Answers
13 Questions Answered

Q. Is the school district part of the local Government?
A: The school district is considered a part of the local government. Public schools are funded by local taxes and are run by elected officials.
Q. What is the statue of limitations in cases that involve special education?
A: The Statute of Limitations in special education matters is two years from when the parents "knew or should have known" about the violation(s), and the remedy is not limited to the two year period preceding the filing, rather the entire period of the violation may be remedied so long as a petition was timely filed.
Q. Can I request a special needs evaluation for my kid at any time during the school year?
A: Absolutely, yes! Be sure to make the request in writing as the timeline within which they must meet with you to discuss the nature and scope of the evaluation starts to run the day they receive your written request. I like to hand deliver these types of letters, and have someone at school sign and date when it was received.
Q. A student with an IEP in school has a set plan that we educators must follow. Is it okay for the principal to change it
A: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) does allow for amendment of an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) without calling a meeting of the IEP team. IEP amendments require that the parent and the district agree on the change. Services cannot be guaranteed by a verbal agreement alone; the amendment must be put into writing and attached to the existing IEP document. An IEP amendment cannot take the place of the required annual IEP meeting.
Q. My sons school finally gave him a full period of Orton Gillingham. How do I get it put in his IEP
A: Pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:14-3.7(d) the IEP may be amended without a meeting of the IEP team as follows: (1) The IEP may be amended if the parent makes a written request to the district board of education for a specific amendment to a provision or provisions of the IEP and the district agrees; (2) The school district provides a written proposal to amend a provision or provisions of the IEP and, within 15 days from the date the written proposal is provided to the parent, the parent consents in writing to the proposed amendment; (3) All amendments pursuant to (d)1 and 2 above shall be incorporated in an amended IEP or an addendum to the IEP, and a copy of the amended IEP or addendum shall be provided to the parent within 15 days of receipt of parental consent by the school district; and (4) If an IEP is amended pursuant to this subsection, such amendment shall not affect the requirement in (i) below that the IEP team review the IEP at a a meeting annually, or more often if necessary. If the district has sent you a "Request to Amend the IEP Without a Meeting" then you may sign consent and return it to the district within the 15 days, and retain a copy for your records. If the district has not sent you such a request, then you should send the written request that IEP be amended to include the service, and if that does not secure the desired result, request an IEP meeting to address the issue. Disclaimer: No attorney/client relationship is hereby formed.
Q. My district won't evaluate my kid for special needs -- how do I appeal this?
A: As a parent, guardian or advocate, you have a legal right to request that your public school evaluate your child for special education. Federal law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act as amended in 2004 (IDEA), gives you that right. States are obligated “identify, locate, and evaluate every child who may have a disability requiring special education services.” When there is suspicion that a child has a disability, parents and educators have a responsibility and a right to request a full, individual, comprehensive, multi-disciplinary evaluation. The request should be made in writing to the school district's director or supervisor of special education. Parents should retain copies of all correspondence relating to their child; and it is a good idea to hand deliver the original and have the parent copy signed and dated by someone at school so there can be no dispute as to when the letter was received. If the school refuses to evaluate despite a parental written request, the parent can file a petition for due process with the State Department of Education or a State Complaint. You may want to seek the assistance of an advocate or attorney who specializes in special education law to assist you with the process.
Q. what can be done if a school did not comply with IEP requirements. from prior school current and was out of compliance
A: There is not enough information provided to answer the question. What can be done will depend on the full set of facts, and it is unclear what any of the facts are. As to "what can be done if a school did not comply with IEP requirements," the answer depends on what requirements the school failed to comply with. The "legal issue" the child is facing is not stated, nor is the accommodation that the school failed to provide. Unfortunately, this question invites more questions rather than answers.
Q. Can I sue if my son's teacher fails to follow the 504 plan.
A: Issues concerning a Free Appropriate Public Education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act must first be exhausted administratively before you can "sue" in a court of law. It may be that your child requires an IEP under the IDEA rather than just a 504 plan. I recommend you retain an advocate or special education attorney in your state to assist you through the process.
Q. Can i sue if a school told me my daughter who is only 9 was failing and has been her hole life
A: I hate to answer a question with a question, but has she been evaluated for special education and related services? If not, you can refer her to the school's Child Study Team for an evaluation. Evaluations clarify needs and drive both services and placement. They can't really know what placement is appropriate for her without knowing her needs. You may do well to get an educational advocate or special education attorney to guide you through this process since you've said it's been an issue her whole life. The school may be obligated to provide compensatory education. There are no money damages available under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), but it does promise eligible children a free appropriate public education, and offers services as compensation when a school fails to comply. Best of luck to you and your daughter.
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One University Plaza
Suite 401
Hackensack, NJ 07601
USA
Telephone: (201) 388-9533