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CONSENTING TO ONLY PART OF THE IEP

You can consent to those parts of the IEP that you agree with, so those services can begin. If you disagree with certain parts of the IEP, those parts cannot be implemented and may be issues at a due process hearing if your concerns cannot be resolved informally. You may wish to file a written dissent with the IEP document to make your position clear.

If the public education agency determines that the part of the proposed IEP to which the parent does not consent is necessary to provide a free and appropriate education to the child, they shall initiate a mediation conference or a due process hearing. While the mediation conference or due process hearing is pending, the child shall remain in his or her then-current placement, unless the parent and public education agency agree otherwise.

CONSENT TO THE CONTENT OF THE IEP VS CONSENT TO PLACEMENT

You may consent to the content of the IEP as written, including the placement recommendation; yet you may disagree with the actual placement site or classroom. For example, after visiting the proposed placement or classroom, you may feel that it does not meet the requirements of the IEP as written. Your disagreement with the actual classroom may become the basis for a due process hearing if your concerns cannot be resolved informally.

CHANGING YOUR MIND AFTER YOU SIGN THE IEP DOCUMENT

Where a parent has changed their mind, s/he may revoke her consent at anytime and should immediately send a written revocation of consent to the special education administrator who represented the school district at the IEP meeting and ask that a new IEP meeting be scheduled as soon as possible. [A parent is entitled to an IEP review meeting within 30 days of a written request, not count in days in July or August.] The district might not, however, revert to implementing the previous IEP, especially if the new IE is already being implemented at the time the parent attempts to withdraw consent, or if any significant period of time has elapsed before the revocation. At the IE meeting, if there is a dispute about the child's program or placement, it is unclear whether the "stay-put" provision would apply to maintain the program as described by the IEP to which the parent wishes to withdraw consent or to the previous IEP. As always, the best practice is not to sign an IEP until one is sure about its contents. You need not sign an IEP at the IEP meeting where it was developed. You can and should take an IEP home to think about for a day or two if you are not sure you should agree to it at the time of the IEP meeting. You can also sign an IE in part as described previously in this chapter.

KINDS OF EDUCATIONAL PLACEMENTS MUST A SCHOOL DISTRICT OFFER

School districts must offer a continuum of alternative placements, including:

Instruction in a regular classroom.

Related services necessary to help your child benefit from special education.

Resource specialist services in which a school resource specialist provides specialized instruction and services to children who spend less than half their day in a regular classroom.

Special day classes and centers in which a school provides specialized instruction and services to children who spend less than half their day in a regular classroom.

State special schools, such as the achool for the deaf or the blind.

Home instruction.

Instruction in hospitals or omstotitions, such as medical facilities, state hospitals and developmental centers, and juvenile schools.

Placement in appropriate non-public, non-sectarian schools when no appropriate public school placement is available.

Out-of-home residential placement, including non-medical care and room and board when educationally appropriate or when the only appropritate school is too far away from your home.

[34 C.F.R. 300.551]

The continuum of placements must permit students to receive an education to the maximum extent appropriate with children who do not have disabilities. [34 C.F.R. 300.552]

PLACEMENT OPTIONS

Some districts will tell you which placements (specific classrooms) they are recommending and describe those classrooms. Other school districts will recommend general placement categories (for example, resource specialists, special day class). Then, specific class- room assignments follow the IEP. You have the right to obtain as much apecific information as possible about the recommended placements during your IEP meeting.

IMPLEMENTING THE IEP

The IEP must be implemented AS SOON AS POSSIBLE following the IEP meeting. This means immediately following except when IEP meetings occur during a vacation period or where circumstances require a short delay (for example, to work out transportation). There can be no undue delay in providing special education and related services; however, the IEP may specify projected dates for initiation of services.
[34 C.F.R. Sec, 300.342 and comment, and Sec. 300.346 (d), and Part 300, App. C, No. 4]

RIGHTS TO AN IEP AND SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES FOR
CHILDREN IN RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS OR OTHER NON-PUBLIC SCHOOLS

School districts must develop IEPs for all eligible students in both public and private schools. If you choose to pay for the religious or non-public school placement, the school district is still responsible for holding IEP meetings and providing services specified in the IEP. What services a student may receive and where those services are delivered may depend on the nature of the non-public school and/or the circumstances of the student's placement there.
[34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.348]

IEPS RESPONDING TO REAL, DOCUMENTED NEEDS VS ACCOMMODATING
THE AVAILABLE FUNDS/RESOURCES OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT

While many school districts do have financial burdens, school districts MUST provide educational services based on the educational needs of your child. School districts cannot use economic issues to deny your child the services he needs. If an agreement cannot be reached and it goes to due process, the hearing officer is allowed to consider the costs in choosing between appropriate placements.
[34 C.F.R. Part 300 300, App. C, No. 44]

PLACEMENTS AND PROGRAMS SHOULD THE FIT THE CHILD

The program placement should be determined based on your child's needs as described in his/her IEP. The intent of the law is that the program be based on the unique needs of your child, rather than the programs available in the school district. If a program which meets your child's unique needs does not exist, the school district is required to secure a program by, for example, starting a new program, nodifying an existing program, providing for an interdistrict transfer or paying for a non-public school placement as appropriate.
[34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.552]

EQUIPMENT NEEDED TO IMPLEMENT MY CHILD'S IEP

Districts must provide equipment needed to implement your child's IEP. State law provides money to school districts to purchase equipment required in the IEP for students with low- -incidence disabilities (for example, Braille equipment for blind students or communication devices for students with oral language handicaps). In addition, schools are required to purchase equipment needed to provide related services such as occupational and physical therapy equipment.

In addition, federal law requires that districts ensure that assistive technology devices and/or services are available:

To special education students who need them as part of their special education or related services or
To the supplemental aids and services used to assist students in being placed in the least restrictive environment.

[34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.308]

An assistive technology device is any item, peice of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabliities of children with disabilties.
[34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.5]

TAPE RECORDING AN IEP MEETING

Parents may tape record an IEP meeting, even without the school district's permission, as long as you give the school district 24 hours notice or your intention to do so. A school district may tape record and IEP meeting as long as it gives you 24 hours notice of its intention to do so. However, the school district must have the parent's permission to tape record the meeting.

Under Federal law, audio tape recordings made by the school district are governed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. In addition, you have the right:

(1) To inspect and review district-made tape recordings

(2) To request that the tape recordings be amended if you believe that they contain information that is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the rights of privacy or other rights of the individual with exceptional needs; and

(3) To challenge, in a hearing, information that you believe is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the individual's rights of privacy or other rights.

[34 C.F.R. Se. 99.10-99-22; U.S.C. Sec. 1232(g)]

UNDERSTANDING THE LANGUAGE OF THE IEP

Remember, parents have a right to equal participation in the IEP process. Do not let the meeting proceed until you fully understand what is being said. Stop the meeting, ask what the jargon or professional term means, and continue to ask until you are comfortable that you understand the meaning. Do not allow the jargon to intimidate you. Above all, remember MOST parents do not understand the jargon. Asking questions is not an indication that you are uninformed, but rather an indication that you are rightfully concerned about developing the appropriate education program for you child.
[34 C.F.R. Part 300, App. C. No. 26]

THE USE OF PRE-WRITTEN OR COMPUTER GENERATED IEP GOALS
AND OBJECTIVES BY THE SCHOOL DISTRICT

The law does not allow the school district to present a completed IEP for approval without a full discussion of your child's need for special education and the services offered.
[34 C.F.R. Part 300, App. C, No.55]

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE IEP

Federal law requires that the state education agancy be untimately responsible for ensuring that the procedures in Public Law 94-142 are followed and that students receive needed education services in accord with their IEP's.
[34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.600]

If the local education agency refuses or wrongfully neglects to provide a student with disabilities with a free appropriate public education, then the state education agency is responsible for directly providing the needed services.
[20 U.S.C. Secs. 1412(6) and 1414(d)]

Q. IF MY CHILD ALREADY IS A SPECIAL EDUCATION STUDENT, CAN THE
SCHOOL WITHHOLD ELIGIBILITY OR EXISTING SERVICE(S)?
No. If the parents and the school disagree on services, the last agreed-upon IEP remains in effect.
[34 C.F.R. Part 30, App. C, Question 35]


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