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.
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.
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.
School districts must offer a continuum of alternative placements,
[34 C.F.R. 300.551]
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.
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.
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]
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.
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]
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
[34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.348]
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]
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]
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:
[34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.308]
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.
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]
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)]
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 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]
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)]