Are Special Ed Teachers Required to Attend Eligibility Meetings?

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I am having difficulty finding who is required to attend the initial Evaluation Team Report (ETR) meeting to determine eligibility.  Are special education teachers required to attend or is it just “best practice” to invite one?

There is no federal “list” of required people who attend eligibility meetings. Under Determination of Eligibility and Educational Need”  the law says this “shall be made by a team of qualified professionals  and the parent of the child …” 20 U.S.C. 1414(b)(4)

If the child is suspected of having a specific learning disability, there are additional requirements and procedures.  34 C.F.R. 300.307-310.

Regarding evaluations and reevaluations, 20 USC 1414(c)  specifies that a review of existing evaluation data be conducted by “the IEP team (which includes at least one special ed teacher by law) and other qualified professionals.” This group shall review:

  • existing evaluation data
  • evaluations and information provided by the parents
  • current assessments
  • classroom observations
  • observations by teacher and related services providers

and identify what additional data is needed.

As you know, state regulations differ from state to state. Some state regulations specify that the IEP team is always part of the team making eligibility decisions.  In that case, a special education teacher would be required to attend.

From a legal or “best practice” perspective, a meeting to determine  eligibility for special education should include at least one special education teacher.

Check your state regulations to determine whether there is a specific requirement.

Do you know the requirement in your state?

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