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IDEA 2004:
IEP Team Members & IEP Team Attendance

"I understand that parents are no longer required participants on their child's IEP team." - Question from a parent at Wrightslaw Boot Camp in Stony Brook, NY (March 6, 2005)

"Teachers Could Be Excluded from IEP Meetings" - Headline in The New York Teacher, the official publication of New York State United Teachers. (March 3, 2005)

Does it make sense that a child's IEP team would not include the child's parents and teachers?

No?

You're right. According to IDEA 2004,
Section 1414(d)(1)(B), the IEP team includes:

(i) the parents of a child with a disability;

(ii) not less than 1 regular education teacher of such child (if the child is, or may be, participating in the regular education environment;

(iii) not less than 1 special education teacher, or where appropriate, not less than 1 special education provider of such child;

(iv) a representative of the local educational agency . . .

(v) an individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results . . .

(vi) at the discretion of the parent or the agency, other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child, including related services personnel as appropriate; and

(vii) whenever appropriate, the child with a disability."

The authorization of any new law typically brings about a spate of interpretations and more questions. Certainly, IDEA 2004 will raise its fair share of questions. Self-styled experts may spread wrong interpretations, misinformation and deliberate disinformation. Do not rely on the opinions of others or advice you may find in articles or at training programs.

When you hear statements that don't make sense, you need to verify what the law says.

You can do this easily by referencing our new publication,
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004: Overview, Explanation and Comparison of IDEA 2004 & IDEA 97.

In this 56 page publication, Pete Wright describes changes to the five key statutes in IDEA 2004. (The statute about Evaluations, Reevaluations, IEPs & IEP teams is Section 1414.)

IDEA 2004 did add a new subsection about "IEP Team Attendance:"

(C) IEP TEAM ATTENDANCE -

(i) ATTENDANCE NOT NECESSARY - A member of the IEP Team shall not be required to attend an IEP meeting, in whole or in part, if the parent of a child with a disability and the local educational agency agree that the attendance of such member is not necessary because the member's area of the curriculum or related services is not being modified or discussed in the meeting.

(ii) EXCUSAL - A member of the IEP Team may be excused from attending an IEP meeting, in whole or in part, when the meeting involves a modification to or discussion of the member's area of the curriculum or related services, if--

  (I) the parent and the local educational agency consent to the excusal; and
  (II) the member submits, in writing to the parent and the IEP Team, input into the development of the IEP prior to the meeting.

(iii) WRITTEN AGREEMENT AND CONSENT REQUIRED - A parent's agreement under
clause (i) and consent under clause (ii) shall be in writing.

References

IDEA 2004: Overview, Explanation and Comparison of IDEA 2004 & IDEA 97

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