You have very specific parental rights afforded to you as a parent of a child with special needs. Parental rights are also called Procedural Safeguards. These are laws granted to you in the IEP process. Although IDEA is a federal law, states have some leeway in how they interpret and carry out the law. Go to your state’s department of education website to see how the parental rights/procedural safeguards are worded for the state you live in. If you would like to view the specific language of the federal law go to the U.S. Department of Education.
Below is a list of the basic procedural safeguards laid out in IDEA.
- You should receive reasonable prior written notice from the school district for any meeting in which aspects of the IEP are going to be discussed.
- The school district must make reasonable efforts to get your parental consent to evaluate or reevaluate your child for special education and begin providing special education services.
- You have the right to request an independent educational evaluation of your child if you disagree with the evaluation the school district has conducted.
- You and your child have a right to confidentiality of personal information.
- You have the right to inspect and review any of your child’s educational records.
- You or the school district have a right to file a due process claim and a right to a hearing if there are disagreements regarding the IEP or IEP process.
- Your child may not be removed from school for more than 10 days in a school year for breaking the school’s disciplinary code without a Manifestation Determination meeting being conducted. At this meeting it will be determined whether your child’s behavior was or was not a result of his/her disability. Functional Behavioral Assessments and Behavior Intervention Plans must be conducted, created or amended at this time. There are three special circumstances where a child with a disability may be removed from school immediately and placed in an alternative interim placement, for not more than 45 school days, they are; possessing a weapon on school grounds, having, using, selling or soliciting the sale of illegal drugs on school grounds and inflicting serious bodily injury on another person on school grounds.
- You have the right to place your child in a private school, but a school district is not required to pay tuition for your unilateral placement of your child in that private school as long as the school district was providing your child with FAPE.