Wrightslaw l No Child Left Behind l IDEA 2004 l Fetaweb l Yellow Pages for Kids l Harbor House Law Press
 Home > Topics > IEPs > Draft IEPs: Are Schools Required to Provide a Copy to Parents Before the IEP Meeting?

The Special Ed Advocate
It's Unique ... and Free!

Enter your email address below:


2014 - 2015 Training Programs

Apr 26 - Little Rock, AR

May 9 - Los Angeles, CA

June 3 - NYC

June 22 - Chicago, IL

June 26 - Lawrence, MA

Aug 2 - Birmingham, AL

Aug 3-8 Williamsburg, VA

Full Schedule

Be a Hero ...

 Candle in window
... to a Hero
Learn more


Topics from A-Z
Free Newsletter
Seminars & Training
Yellow Pages for Kids
Press Room

Books & Training

Wrightslaw Books & DVDs
Wrightslaw Storesecure store lock
  Advocate's Store
  Student Bookstore
  Exam Copies
Training Center
Bulk Discounts
New! Military Discounts
Mail & Fax Orders

Advocacy Library

Doing Your Homework
Ask the Advocate
Newsletter Archives
 Summer School Series
 Be an Advocate!
 Organizing the File
 Letter Writing
 Back to School
 For Advocates
 For Parents
Success Stories

Law Library

IDEA 2004
No Child Left Behind
McKinney-Vento Homeless
Section 504
Fed Court Complaints


Assistive Technology
Autism Spectrum
Behavior & Discipline
College/Continuing Ed
Due Process
Early Intervention (Part C)
Future Planning
High-Stakes Tests
Homeless Children
IDEA 2004
Identification & Child Find
Juvenile Justice
Law School & Clinics
Letters & Paper Trails
Military / DOD
No Child Left Behind
NCLB Directories
NCLB Law & Regs
Parental Protections
PE and Adapted PE
Privacy & Records
Procedural Safeguards
Progress Monitoring
Related Services
Research Based Instruction
Response to Intervention (RTI)
School Report Cards
Section 504
Teachers & Principals
Twice Exceptional (2e)
VA Special Education

Resources & Directories

Advocate's Bookstore
Advocacy Resources
  Disability Groups
  State DOEs
  State PTIs
Free Flyers
Free Pubs
Free Newsletters
Legal & Advocacy
   Legal Terms
   Assessment Terms
Best School Websites


Draft IEPs: Are Schools Required to Provide a Copy to Parents
Before the IEP Meeting?

Print this page

I have a question about the recent poll results about draft IEPs.

discussion of draft IEP questionYou wrote: "Fifty-two percent of you chose the answer 'Yes, but the IEP team needs to provide the parent with a copy before the IEP meeting' - the correct answer."

Can you cite any federal statute or regulation to this effect? While I wish this were so, I believe the correct answer is "Yes, because it's just a draft for discussion and -- [possibly] efficiency."

I'm not aware of any legal source that states that the parent has a right to a copy of the draft IEP ahead of time. Can you provide your authority?

Answers to Questions in the Commentary

When the Education Department published the federal special education regulations in August 2006, they also published the Analysis of Comments and Changes ("Commentary") and Model Forms. (Federal Register, Volume 71, pages 46540-46845, published on August 14, 2006).

The Commentary provides definitions and discussions of legal terms in IDEA 2004 and the special education regulations. In the Commentary, the Department explains why a regulation was changed or not changed, what the Department intends, and clarifies the "plain meaning" of terms.

Judges often cite the Commentary in their decisions. For example in K.L. v. Mercer Island School District (W.D. WA 2006), the Judge cited the Commentary to the IDEA 97 regulations to support the position that methodology is an issue that needs to be addressed in the IEP.

We published the Commentary to the IDEA 2004 regulations in one large file and as several smaller files at:

Commentary about IEPs / Regs 320-328 (pages 46661 through 46688)


Here is what the Commentary says about draft IEPs:

"With respect to a draft IEP, we encourage public agency staff to come to an IEP Team meeting prepared to discuss evaluation findings and preliminary recommendations. Likewise, parents have the right to bring questions, concerns, and preliminary recommendations to the IEP Team meeting as part of a full discussion of the child’s needs and the services to be provided to meet those needs.

"We do not encourage public agencies to prepare a draft IEP prior to the IEP Team meeting, particularly if doing so would inhibit a full discussion of the child’s needs.

"However, if a public agency develops a draft IEP prior to the IEP Team meeting, the agency should make it clear to the parents at the outset of the meeting that the services proposed by the agency are preliminary recommendations for review and discussion with the parents.

"The public agency also should provide the parents with a copy of its draft proposals, if the agency has developed them, prior to the IEP Team meeting so as to give the parents an opportunity to review the recommendations of the public agency prior to the IEP Team meeting, and be better able to engage in a full discussion of the proposals for the IEP. It is not permissible for an agency to have the final IEP completed before an IEP Team meeting begins. (FR 46678)"

You can read this text in page 46678 of the Federal Register which you can download from:

We hope this is helpful and answers your questions.

To Top

Created: 04/06/07
Revised: 00/00/07

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon The Special Ed Advocate: It's Free!


Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, by Pam and Pete Wright Wrightslaw: All About IEPs Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board

Copyright 1998-2014, Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright. All rights reserved.

Contact Us | Press Mission l Our Awards l Privacy Policy l Disclaimer l Site Map

Check it Out!

Wrightslaw Store

The Advocate's Store

Get Help!

Blog the Wrightslaw

Wrightslaw on Facebook

Find us on Facebook

Wrightslaw Books

Student Discounts

Military Discounts

Wrightslaw: All About IEPs

About the Book
To Order

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, by Pam and Pete Wright
About the Book
To Order

About the Book

To Order

Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board

About the DVD Video
To Order

To Order

Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind

About the Book
To Order

Wrightslaw Multimedia Training

Understanding Your Child's
Test Scores (1.5 hrs)

Understanding Your Child's Test Scores

Learn More
To Order
Retail Price: $
Wrightslaw Special: $14.95

Special Education Law & Advocacy Training
(6.5 hrs)

Wrightslaw WebEx Special Education Law & Training Program (6.5 hrs)

Learn More
To Order
Retail Price: $99.95
Wrightslaw Special: $49.95