Parent Rights in Special Education . The Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 Michelle Fattig, Ed.S. IDEA 2004.
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The Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004
Michelle Fattig, Ed.S.
“I think the thing that you can pass along better than anything else is your passion for kids that need somebody to care about what they need outside the system rather than how they simply need to fit into the system. Once somebody has the heart for kids that are different, they won't break any sort of law because they will be taking such good care of what makes their own life special.”
The new authorization of special education law, which became effective in July 2005 called the Individual with Disabilities Education Improvement Act or IDEA 2004, allocates money for Parent Training and Information Centers. The reauthorization changes the original language of the act to include the partial statement, “strengthening the role and responsibility of parents and ensuring that families of such children have meaningful opportunities to participate in the education of their children at school and at home.”
IDEA is founded on the principle or ideal that what a child requires in order to be successful to the greatest extent appropriate with regular education peers may not necessarily be a “cookie cutter” service plan. IEP teams should closely evaluate, consider, and monitor services determined appropriate for each child.
Schools are required to offer a continuum of services or alternative placements in order to best meet the special education needs of all children. These services or alternative placements may include, but are not limited to: supplementary aids and services; curricular adaptations and accommodations; medical, speech language, psychological, or social work supports; and resource rooms, special classes, and special schools.
IDEA requires that children with disabilities be educated in their Least Restrictive Environment. LRE requires that children be educated with their non-disabled peers to the greatest extent appropriate. Students should be provided with the LEAST amount of special education services and supports needed in order for them to progress with regular education peers in the regular education setting and curriculum.
IDEA maintains emphasis on parental involvement and participation. Parents generally understand and know the child better than anyone else on the team. Schools are expected to encourage and enable active and meaningful involvement of parents.
The school district must take steps to ensure that the parent understands the information provided in the notice.
If a school district has attempted to obtain your consent for a reevaluation with no response, the district may conduct the evaluation without consent, provided that the school district can demonstrate that it had taken reasonable efforts to obtain consent and failed to gain a response to the requests.
Parents or guardians have the right to inspect and review all education records with respect to the identification, evaluation, and educational placement of their child and the provision of a free appropriate public education.
Individual states may have slightly different language. Most will probably be revised following the implementation of IDEA 2004.
-60 school day timeline for completion of evaluation from time of consent for ages 3-21
-Timeline relaxed for transfer students as long as receiving district is making sufficient progress to insure a prompt completion of the evaluation and parent knows when it will be completed.
-Conducted in language and form most likely to yield accurate information
-Not more than once a year (unless school and parent agree otherwise)
-At least every 3 years unless parent and school agree that a “reevaluation
Evaluations before change in eligibility
-When exiting for purposes of maximum age eligibility or graduation with a regular diploma a reevaluation will not be required
-LEA shall provide a summary of the student’s performance and academic achievement to assist in meeting the student’s postsecondary goals.
Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)
-Present levels of “academic achievement and functional performance”
-Annual goals must include “academic and functional goals”
-Short-term objectives/benchmarks not always required
-Only for those children who take alternative assessments to be aligned to alternate standards
Contents of IEP
-Description of how progress toward goal will be measured and when reported
-Statement of Special Ed Services
-“Based on peer-reviewed research to the extent practicable”
-Appropriate accommodations in district-wide assessments
-Why students can’t participate in regular assessments
-Why alternate assessment is appropriate
-What alternate test the student will take
Contents of IEP (cont.)
-Statement on participation in regular classes and curriculum
“Appropriate measurable post-secondary goals” based on age-appropriate transition assessment must be included in the first IEP to be in effect when the child is 16”
IEP Team Attendance
prior to the meeting.
- Review the behavioral intervention plan as part of the IEP to determine what, if any, revisions are necessary
protracted loss/impairment of a bodily member or organ/ mental faculty
Burden of proof on the school to show by a substantial evidence that:
IEP Team determines services and placement
Does not count as a day of suspension if:
Parent Training and Information Centers are designed to serve families of children with disabilities from birth to age 22. The centers work with families in obtaining appropriate education services and in training parents and professionals. Each state has at least one parent center. The centers help resolve conflicts between parents and other agencies or schools, and provide a connection for children with disabilities to the community resources needed.