Who Can Override an IEP?

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The IEP team, including the parents, agreed that a student would receive homebased instruction for  part of the day for instruction in academic  subjects.  He would attend vocational courses at the school the rest of the day.  The school division superintendent decided to override the IEP team placement. Can he do that?

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act states that all decisions about a child’s special education program and placement are  made by the IEP team. Period.

The law does not provide for another individual, including a supervisor or superintendent, to overrule decisions made by the IEP team. Despite this, it is not unusual for a principal or superintendent to try to overrule decisions made by the IEP team.

Legal Requirements for IEPs

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition,Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition
20 U.S.C. 1414(d), p. 99.

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What are the superintendent’s objections? Why did he “override” the IEP team?

If you know the basis of his objection (fear or concern), you may be able to reassure him.

Meeting the Child’s Needs

The IEP should be based on the student’s unique needs. If the IEP team decides that the IEP you describe meets this child’s unique needs, the child can receive homebound instruction for academics, and attend vocational courses for part of the day.

It sounds like the placement decision by the IEP team was an effort to re-engage the student to return to school to complete his education and receive his IEP diploma.

  • Are there specific, measurable goals included in the IEP?
  • Is there a plan for the student to return school at a later date?

If the superintendent is successful in overturning the team’s plan, I doubt this boy will ever receive a diploma. Perhaps this is why the law does not allow decisions to be made for “administrative  convenience.”

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I live in NC, who can help me get my 10 year old non verbal autistic son into a special needs school the IEP team is refusing to help?


Check with your state parent training and information center. http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center


I have full custody of my nephew i have had him for 4 years i started his iep and never have had to have his mother sign anything he is in a new school and said they have to have her sign papers because she still has her parent rights is this true?


What happens when the special education teacher disagrees with the rest of the team?


The paperwork should reflect that the teacher disagrees. It is best that it gives some detail on the reasons for this. The IEP team can proceed to implement what was decided. The dispute resolution processes IDEA, and state rules allow are generally designed for parents, but you may be able to make a state complaint.


Can the state board override IEP requirements in regards to state testing? I am a student at a high school in Illinois who is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. According to my teachers, I cannot have my accomodations (my phone and notebook to listen to music and draw, respectively) while taking these tests. They said, quote, “We can send the accomdations to the state board, and they can either say ‘yes’ or ‘no.'” I’m afraid to say that I don’t have the best relationship of trust with my staff, so I find it unlikely that they would have pushed very hard to clarify what I legally deserve. I’m planning on talking about this with my parents. Is this a violation of the IEP laws? If so, who is at fault? The state board, or my teachers? What can I do to file a complaint?


It is not uncommon for the state education agency to allow schools to decide to allow certain accommodations for statewide tests, but for some others that agency must approve them. Contact your state parent training & information center. They will know your state rules & options. http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center


When a related service is discontinued without the presence at the IEP or any input from the service provider, can the service provider let the parent know that the service provider was intentionally not invited to the IEP and that no written progress report or any other communication has been requested of the service provider!