Montgomery County RIGHT TO EDUCATION LOCAL TASK FORCE 23

Historical Overview – PARC v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

On January 7, 1971, several children with mental disabilities, by and through their parents, filed this class-action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the State Board of Education and several named school districts. The plaintiffs, represented by counsel from the Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children (PARC), sought declaratory and injunctive relief, claiming that certain state laws unconstitutionally denied a free publicly funded education to children with mental disabilities. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that the named school districts unfairly classified certain students as “uneducable and untrainable,” and also denied public education to students who did not reach the mental capacity of a 5-year-old by the time they turned 8 years old.

On October 8, 1971, the Court entered a consent decree agreed to by the parties, which declared several state laws unconstitutional, and required the state to evaluate and place all students with mental disabilities ages 6-21 in a proper publicly funded educational setting. PARC v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 334 F.Supp. 1257 (E.D. Pa. 1971). The Court appointed a monitor and retained jurisdiction for enforcement of the consent decree. On May 5, 1972, the parties made minor adjustments to the consent decree without changing its basic framework. PARC v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 343 F.Supp. 279 (E.D. Pa. 1972).

As part of the adjustments to the consent decree, the Right to Education Consent Agreement of 1972 provided for the establishment of a Local Task Force (LTF) in each of the 29 Intermediate Units. The primary purpose of the LTF is to ensure that the intent and spirit of the Right to Education Consent Agreement is carried out throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In 1975, the Right to Education was extended by state regulations to include learning disabilities, physical handicaps, emotional difficulties and hearing, visual, speech and language impairment.

Montgomery County Right to Education Local Task Force 23

The Montgomery County Right to Education Local Task Force 23 is a parent majority organization that works collaboratively with representatives from school districts, county mental health/developmental disabilities office, intermediate unit, and the local Arc offices to address individual and systemic issues affecting students receiving Special Education services.

The purpose of the LTF is to strengthen, improve and monitor programs, services and parent satisfaction in Montgomery County. The Local Task Force provides workshops on topics of interest in Special Education that are open to the public. 

Meeting Information

Each Local Task Force meets no less than five times per year.  Our Right to Education Local Task Force meetings are free and include:

  • Parent Input
  • Networking
  • Communication with local school districts and community providers
  • Dissemination of resources
  • Discussions and presentations on current issues within local special education
  • Refer systemic issues identified locally to the appropriate intermediate unit, LEA, local agency, Bureau of Special Education Adviser, or to the State Task Force chairperson for clarification, recommendation or resolution.
  • Make recommendations that assist in improving and strengthening services for school-age children with disabilities.

WE INVITE YOU TO BE INVOLVED WITH OUR LOCAL RIGHT TO EDUCATION TASK FORCE. WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO HIGHLIGHT THE POSITIVES AND VOICE YOUR CONCERNS ABOUT SPECIAL EDUCATION ISSUES IN YOUR SCHOOL DISTRICT. PLEASE EMAIL US AT: localtaskforce@mciu.org

In the event of inclement weather resulting in a 2-hour delayed opening for the MCIU, the LTF meeting will be canceled.

 

Meeting Dates

October 12, 2021
9:30 AM – 11:00 AM
Understanding Your Rights in Special Education

December 14, 2021
9:30 AM – 11:00 AM
Social-Emotional Well-being for Students After the Pandemic

February 8, 2022
9:30 AM – 11:00 AM
Early Intervention Transition Points from County Program (0-3), to MCIU (3-5) and to School Age (K-12)

April 12, 2022
9:30 AM – 11:00 AM
Office of Dispute & Resolutions

May 10, 2022
9:30 AM – 11:00 AM
Inclusive Practices, Elections and Future Planning

Membership

Parents are important and meaningful members of the Local Task Force.  Membership of the task force must consist of 51 percent consumers (parent, guardian or surrogate of school-age children with disabilities).

Persons are eligible for membership upon attending 2 LTF meetings of the current school year.

Also serving on the Local Right to Education Task Force are concerned citizens and representatives from:

  • Montgomery County Intermediate Unit
  • Local school districts
  • The Arc Alliance
  • ODP & Office of Mental Health
  • Local and regional special education service providers

Duties

  • Assist families and professionals of school-aged students with special education needs by providing educational and networking opportunities so that they are able to make informed decisions to meet the needs of the students.
  • Help disseminate local, regional, state, school, and community-based special education services, seminars, and informational opportunities to the community.
  • Identify local needs and systemic issues and forward them to the State Task Force.
  • Assess services and programs for school-age children with special needs, making recommendations for their improvement, expansion or discontinuation.
  • Foster collaboration amongst public and private agencies which provide special education services.
  • Recommend solutions for identified areas of concern and develop an action plan to affect positive change.
  • Assist the administration in carrying out the rules and regulations growing out of the Right To Education Consent Agreement.
  • Review Intermediate Unit and District Special Education Plans and make recommendations that will help assure that they meet the needs of school-age children with special needs.

 

THE ARC OF PENNSYLVANIA

301 Chestnut Street, Suite 403
Harrisburg, PA 17101
717-234-2621
www.thearcpa.org

 

BUREAU OF SPECIAL EDUCATION’S CONSULTLINE, A PARENT HELPLINE

800-879-2301

ConsultLine personnel are available to parents and advocates of children with disabilities or children thought to be disabled to explain federal and state laws relating to special education; describe the options that are available to parents; inform the parents of procedural safeguards; identify other agencies and support services; and describe available remedies and how the parents can proceed.

 

DISABILITIES RIGHTS NETWORK

1414 North Cameron Street
Suite C
Harrisburg, PA 17103
800-692-7443 (Toll-Free Voice)
877-375-7139 (TDD)
717-236-8110 (Voice)
717-346-0293 (TDD)
717-236-0192 (Fax)
www.disabilityrightspa.org

 

HISPANOS UNIDOS PARA NIÑOS EXCEPCIONALES (PHILADELPHIA HUNE, INC.)

2215 North American Street
Philadelphia, PA 19133
215-425-6203
215-425-6204 (Fax)
huneinc@aol.com
www.huneinc.org

 

MISSION EMPOWER

1611 Peach Street, Suite 120
Erie, PA 16501
814-825-0788
advocate@missionempower.org
www.missionempower.org

OFFICE FOR DISPUTE RESOLUTION

6340 Flank Drive
Harrisburg, PA 17112-2764
717-901-2145 (Phone)
800-222-3353 (Toll free in PA only)
TTY Users: PA Relay 711
717-657-5983 (Fax)
www.odr-pa.org

The Office for Dispute Resolution administers the mediation and due process systems statewide, and provides training and services regarding alternative dispute resolution methods.

 

PARENT EDUCATION AND ADVOCACY LEADERSHIP CENTER (PEAL)

1119 Penn Avenue, Suite 400
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
412-281-4404
866-950-1040 (Toll Free)
412-281-4409 (TTY)
412-281-4408 (Fax)
www.pealcenter.org

 

PUBLIC INTEREST LAW CENTER OF PHILADELPHIA

United Way Building
1709 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Second Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103
215-627-7100 (Phone)
215-627-3183 (Fax)
www.pilcop.org

 

PENNSYLVANIA BAR ASSOCIATION

100 South Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101
800-932-0311
www.pabar.org

 

THE PENNSYLVANIA TRAINING AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE NETWORK (PaTTAN)

Harrisburg 800-360-7282
King of Prussia 800-441-3215
Pittsburgh 800-446-5607
www.pattan.net

 

STATE TASK FORCE ON THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION

3190 William Pitt Way
Pittsburgh, PA 15238
1-800-446-5607 ext. 6828

CHAIRS & CO-CHAIRS:

Co-Chair
Sandy Katz
Methacton Parent

Co-Chair
Yadir Cruz
North Penn Parent

District Representative
Kate Pacitto
Director of Pupil Services, Pottsgrove

MCIU Representative
Daniel Currie
Assistant Director of Special Education

CONTACT THE Montgomery County LOCAL TASK FORCE:

Local Task Force
phone: 610-755-9350 (please leave a message)
email: localtaskforce@mciu.org