Can the School Exclude Related Service Providers from IEP Meetings?

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Related service providers should be included on the child’s team when a particular related service will be discussed.

These providers have valuable input about the child’s needs, services required, and an appropriate educational program.

If the child’s evaluation indicates the child needs a specific related service, the school should ensure that a qualified provider of that service either –

  • attends the IEP meeting
  • provides a written recommendation concerning the nature, frequency, and amount of service to provided to the child.

In fact, in some cases the related service provider may be a required member of the IEP team as the person “responsible” for implementing the child’s IEP.

Under 34 CFR 300.321 (a)(3), the chld’s special education teacher or provider is a required member of the IEP team.

If a child with a speech impairment (his only disability) receives only speech language services defined as special education under state standards, the SLP would be the required team member.

OSEP Frowns on Excluding Related Service Providers

The US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, OSERS Letter to Rangel-Diaz states:

if a child with a disability has an identified need for related services, it would be appropriate for the related services personnel to attend the meeting. 

Refer to 34 CFR 300.321(a)(3) and (6) that govern how related services personnel can attend IEP meetings. (Page 246, Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition.)

If the school designates the related services provider as a required team member, it must ensure that provider attends the IEP meeting, unless the parent consents to excuse the provider. See the excusal provisions in 34 CFR 300.321(e)

OSEP expects excusal decisions to be made on an individualized, case-by-case basis, and would consider a public agency to be in noncompliance with the IDEA if it were to routinely or unilaterally excuse a required IEP Team member from attending an IEP Team meeting without obtaining parental consent or agreement… Letter to Rangel-Diaz (page 2)

“OSEP believes that it is critically important to the provision of FAPE that the public agency require individuals to attend IEP Team meetings who are in the best position to address the educational program for, and the unique needs of, each child with a disability.”

“OSEP expects that each public agency will ensure that each child’s IEP Team is composed of persons knowledgeable about the child and the child’s full range of educational needs, including the amount and type of special education and related services that the child needs in order to receive FAPE.”

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6 Comments on "Can the School Exclude Related Service Providers from IEP Meetings?"

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Yeah, but what if they say yes to you(the parent) about bringing a previous teacher of your child’s, but then they contact the teachers new district they work in and have them threaten her not to show up, or shell lose her job.( This teacher is not tentered yet.)

My child is dyslexic and I would like her to have OG Multisensory instruction – that has evidenced based success, her school is saying they are meeting her needs with AIS teachers that attended a 5 day training. I have completed the 45hr lecture and 100hr practicum by the Children’s Dyslexia Centers, and know that what they are providing is not sufficient. The parents in the school want an outside, qualified provider to be allowed to consult/ work with the school to provide the necessary services – do the parents have legal grounds to request the appropriate level of qualifications for the instructor ? i.e.- you wouldn’t ask someone to perform surgery because they listened to someone talk about it for 30hrs! – or maybe they slept in a Holiday Inn Express!! Is there case law for this?

Hi Kimberly, I am going through the same with my son. I feel our outside service provider has been more effective and more qualified to meet his needs than what the district provides. Has anyone answered your question outside this page? I need help in this department as well. Thank you!

Schools seem to overlook what the “I” in IEP stands for.

As an equal member of the IEP team, you may invite people to the table that you feel will help develop a plan that addresses any deficits in your child’s educational plan.

I always invite our BCBA and school does not provide ABA services. But this is a proven service that helps children in out case out son who has autism yet school does not allow our therapist to go in and help our students in the school setting. A setting in which our son amd many other children have issues and one that can not be replicated at home or in a center. Does the law state outside providers are not allowed in school to help with one particular child who has an IEP and the service is not available via school?

It feels like you can never win with school!

I think if the BCBA has adequate insurance and is approved by the BOE, there shouldn’t be a problem. What is the school’s objection? Are they worried they have to pay? How does your school get away without offering this service?

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