Can the school write in the IEP that the child will receive reading instruction/tutoring by a reading specialist who is not a special ed teacher?
Yes. The IDEA and federal special ed regs do not require that the services listed in the IEP must be provided by a special ed teacher. (Vote in the poll at the end of this article)
Here’s the background to the question:
My 10 year old with Downs Syndrome has made no reading progress over the last 4-5 years. A reading specialist recommended a new reading program, the school agreed. To help her catch up, we also asked for additional intensive services by this reading specialist, who would know how to implement and monitor the new program.
The school told us “she cannot have it written in the IEP for services of the reading specialist since the specialist is not a special ed teacher.”
Must the school exclude a service from the IEP, if the child will be taught/tutored by a reading specialist who is not a special ed teacher? Is that true?
No. This is not true. The IDEA and federal special ed regs do not require that the services listed in the IEP must be provided by a special ed teacher.
Most children with disabilities receive much or all of their education in regular ed classes, and are taught by regular ed teachers. The IDEA requires that the child’s IEP team include at least one regular ed teacher because . . .
The regular ed teacher knows the curriculum and what students are supposed to learn and do. With input from the regular ed teacher, the team can determine what accommodations, supplementary aids and services, and modifications the child needs to learn and make progress. (Wrightslaw: All about IEPs, page 11)
The IEP must include all special education services, related services, and supplementary aids and services the child needs, and the school will provide. (Wrightslaw: All About IEPs, page 37)
If team proposes a service but resists writing it into the IEP, you might assume they don’t really plan to provide it.
If the parent has to request mediation or a due process hearing because the promised service was not provided, the parent will not prevail because the IEP does not include it.
Politely ask for a clarification and copy of the written policy (either federal, state, or local school district) that indicates a special ed teacher is required to provide services in the IEP. If you do not get a response, write a follow-up letter with a request for the policy.
Please vote in the poll.