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IEP FAQs Pop-Up

Resolving Parent-School Disputes

Question 1.

I don't agree with the school's proposed IEP. What should I do?

Answer

You have the right to disagree with the school about your child's needs, appropriate services, educational placements, and other issues.

Parent Consent: Before the school can place your child in a special education program for the first time, you must give your informed consent.

If you disagree with the school's proposed program, you should not consent to the IEP.

To eliminate misunderstandings, always describe your concerns and objections in writing.

You can negotiate, and try to resolve your dispute informally through the IEP process.

Request another IEP meeting to discuss other solutions.

Write a "Letter to the Stranger" that describes your child's history and your concerns.

Discuss your concerns with the school members of the team. Try to reach an agreement.

The agreement may be temporary.

For example, you and the school may agree to try a program or placement for a specified period of time, and meet a few weeks later to discuss how your child is doing.

Legal Resource

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition

Wrightslaw: All About IEPs Chapter 14

Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd Edition

IDEA

20 U.S.C.§ 1414(a)(1)(D)

IDEA Regulations

34 C.F.R. §300.300

Additional Resources

Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd Edition. Chapter 24 - Writing the Letter to the Stranger.

Paper Trails, Letter Writing and Documentation

Tactics and Strategies: The Letter to the Stranger

How to Handle Disagreements at IEP Meetings

State Special Education Regulations and Guidelines. You will find your specific state regulations at your State Department of Education website. Use the Wrightslaw Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities to locate your state site.

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