Pegasus provides online educational resources to families seeking to enforce their children’s right to a free, appropriate, and meaningful education, focusing on the needs of children with disabilities.
*Please note, Pegasus is no longer able to provide legal representation or advice for education issues*
Are you living away from your parents and wanting to enroll in school?
You can do that. Information on the rights of unaccompanied youth to access education can be found here.
Unaccompanied youth have special rights to access education under the federal McKinney-Vento Act.
Has your child been suspended or expelled from school?
School discipline can be formal or informal. For instance, your child’s school may have formally suspended your child after holding a hearing, or your child’s school may have informally disciplined your child by, for example, removing your child from their classroom for periods of time because of their behavior. We recommend you keep detailed notes about each time the school accuses your child of misbehavior and removes them from the classroom.
If the school is excluding your child because of alleged misbehavior, the school is required to follow certain procedures, depending on the type of exclusion. The school may be required to provide you with written notice regarding the school’s decision to remove your child and/or the school may be required to hold an administrative hearing before suspending or expelling your child.
For more information on how to advocate for children and youth in general education school discipline proceedings, click here.
Does your child need special education?
If you suspect your child has a disability and needs special education, the first step is to obtain a comprehensive psycho-educational evaluation. We recommend that you write the director of special education or the principal of your child’s school. Describe your concerns with your child’s educational performance and request an evaluation under IDEA, to see if a disability is involved.
For sample forms to assist you in making your evaluation request, please review the resources available through the Center for Parent Information & Resources.
Please note that the school may refuse to evaluate your child if it does not agree that your child has a disability or needs special education. If this is the case, the school must let you know this decision in writing, as well as why it has refused. This is called “prior written notice.”
If the school refuses to evaluate your child, ask the school system for information about its special education policies, as well as parent rights to disagree with decisions made by the school system. These materials should describe the steps parents can take to appeal a school system’s decision. The New Mexico Public Education also distributes information about parental rights which can be found here.