In July 2019, Jacquelyn Babinski, a new education attorney, reached out to Kristin Totten, lead education attorney for Michigan ACLU, regarding her class action suit brought on behalf of the children of Flint against Flint Community Schools for their failure to properly identify and evaluate children impacted by lead poisoning. Jacquelyn and Kristin's conversations culminated in Jacquelyn contracting with Legal Services of Eastern Michigan to directly represent students in Flint, who had been impacted by the Flint Water Crisis, ensuring their neuropsychological examinations were considered by the schools and appropriately incorporated into the child’s IEP.
Through their continued collaboration in Flint, as well as their work together with other education attorneys, advocates, and related agencies, Jacquelyn and Kristin recognized that children with disabilities all throughout the state were suffering from inadequate education, evaluations, and implementations of their IEP’s. Even more frustrating, it was clear the need for both attorneys and non-attorney advocates was far greater than the number of resources available. This was particularly true in Western and Northern Michigan and the idea for MI AECRES was born.
After much planning and collaboration with respected colleagues equally passionate about education, MI AECRES was formally established in February 2021.