In this episode we’re doing a deep dive into the subject of parental and student rights or, from another perspective, the legal obligation that schools have to provide for a child’s education, and what that means during the Covid-19 pandemic. To talk us through this subject is attorney Catherine Michael, who specializes in education law for both general and special education matters. Through her law practice, Catherine has spent nearly two decades advocating for the rights of all students and helping parents navigate the education and legal system to ensure the needs of their child are met. 

She is also the author of the forthcoming book, The Exceptional Parent’s Guide to Special Education, written to help parents understand their child’s education rights and simplify the complexities of education law.

When I knew Catherine was coming onto the show, I reached out on the TiLT Parenting Facebook page and asked for questions you had about advocating for your children during this pandemic (and wow, did you have questions).Thank you to the many of you who sent in great questions — Catherine provided so much valuable information, on everything from accommodations and supports during remote learning, IEP requirements, evaluations, homeschooling rights, best practices for dealing with schools, and much, much more. This episode is jam-packed and is essential listening for any parent of a differently wired child, even outside of a global pandemic.


About Catherine: Catherine M. Michael is licensed and practices throughout the state of Indiana, Texas, and Michigan. She represents students and their families in a variety of education and personal injury matters including Special Education Due Process, Section 504 matters, expulsion, disciplinary issues, personal injury of children including injury, sexual abuse, molestation, and rape cases both in and out of school environments, private school issues and discipline as well as other civil rights and disability claims experienced by students. She possesses extensive knowledge regarding special education due process, teacher and student discipline and dismissal matters, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), personal injury of children in schools, and other civil rights matters.

Catherine Michael has been featured hundreds of times in both the national and local media. She is a frequent guest on syndicated radio and television shows for her education law expertise. Her nearly two decade career in education has focused on ensuring that the needs of children in schools are met. She has represented school shooting victims, children abused in school, and hundreds of special needs children whose families needed a voice.



  • What has changed in education due to the COVID-19 pandemic and how it has impacted children with learning differences
  • What rights parents have under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
  • What is meant by FAPE (Free and Appropriate Public Education)
  • What legal obligation school districts have during remote learning
  • What is the process of filing an Education Due Process appeal
  • What most parents don’t know about their child’s IEP 
  • What new accommodations are available for kids who are remote learning 
  • What parents who have chosen to homeschool during the pandemic need to know about their rights
  • Catherine’s advice for parents who feel stuck advocating for their child’s needs






Read through the whole episode!






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