I submitted a written request for an evaluation that included my parental consent for the eval. They would not accept my letter of request including a statement of written parental consent as “legal consent”.
I received this response from the director of spec. ed.
“As you may know, the IDEA contains certain requirements related to parent consent, therefore we need you to sign the forms that we are sending, so that we have proper, legal consent. (See IDEA Regulations 34 CFR 300.9; 34 CFR 300.300(c); and 34 CFR 300.300(a)(1).) You are welcome to scan/email or fax the forms back to us, or return the hard copy.”
Written consent is just that.
The federal statute and regulations do not mandate that a specific form must be used.
Check Your State Regulations
You will want to check your own state regulation to see if it tracks the federal regulation. I suspect that it does.
If there was subsequent litigation in your case about date of consent, I suspect that a Judge would say the critical date was the date consent was first provided. This would be the date of your initial request letter, not the subsequent school “form”.
Contact Your State Department of Education
You might want to contact your state Department of Education by phone. Run the facts by them.
Then follow-up the phone call with a nice thank you letter to that Dept of Ed official. Confirm that the state does not mandate the use of a particular form and that the consent timeline runs from the date consent is received and not the date that it is received on the school district’s form.
With your thank you letter, copy the local director of special ed (or the person in the local department who first gave you the information).
Important Note: Do sign and return the school form when you receive it. Note that consent was initially provided on xyz date per the parent’s request and consent letter.
Do not let a battle over their procedures slow/stop the timeline.
If you are willing to scroll back to October 5, 2011 you will find an interesting discussion on Wrightslaw on Facebook about Evaluation Timelines. We heard from many states about the number of days in the timeline and the legal authority in those state regulations.