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Navigating Education Laws & Policies for Military Families with Special Needs

Navigating Education Laws  & Policies for Military Families with Special Needs

About this Webinar

There are over 1.3 active duty military families serving our country right now.  While many Americans imagine these families work, live and attend school on a military installation, it’s largely not true.  Our 1.5 million military children live and attend school in local communities. Over 140,000 of those families have one or more family members and children with a special need – physical, mental, emotional, medical or educational.  Any family with a child or adult with a special need knows that challenges are normal, but these challenges become magnified especially when a child with a special need is asked to move 6-9 times over a parent’s career.  This presentation will answer those core legal questions that parents face when interacting with a school system and highlight some of the difference in the rules from state to state.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Review requirements for getting children tested for special education or related services.
  2. Identify legal rights when moving states or schools with a child with special educational needs.
  3. Identify the difference between an IEP and a 504 plan.
  4. Address discipline in school for children with special needs.


Colonel Elizabeth Schuchs-Gopaul
Attorney, Retired
United States Air Force

Elizabeth Schuchs-Gopaul is a retired Air Force officer and mother of two children with special needs.  She earned her law degree at the University of Georgia School of Law before embarking on a 22 years career as a Judge Advocate in the United States Air Force.  She is a four-time Staff Judge Advocate, four-time MAJCOM Senior Attorney of the Year, and has been honored with the ABA Keithe E. Nelson award, the Judge Advocate Association Outstanding Career Armed Services Attorney award, and with a special recognition award as part of the Commander-in-Chief Installation Excellence Award.

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