Can a General Ed Teacher Duck Out Early from the IEP Meeting?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


1. Does a general education teacher need to sit through an entire IEP, or just the portion that pertains to the child’s performance in the general education environment?

2. What if the gen ed teacher is sitting in only as an administrative designee and does not have the child in their class?

Our district is telling us that general ed teachers must sit through the entire IEP to make the IEP “legally defensible”.

You are asking two different questions.

1. The first question is whether a teacher or service provider is required to sit through the whole IEP meeting.

The IDEA addresses IEP meeting attendance. 20 U.S.C. 1414(d)(1)(C)

“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.”

2. Your second question is whether you can duck out early while you are acting as a substitute for the school administrative member of the team…

In addition to the parents and child, the IDEA requires the IEP team to include at least one special ed teacher, at least one regular ed teacher, an evaluator who can explain test results, and “a representative of the local educational agency who‚

(I) is qualified to provide, or supervise the provision of, specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of children with disabilities;
(II) is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum; and
(III) is knowledgeable about the availability of resources of the local educational agency…” 20 U.S.C. 1414(d)(1)(B)

If you are a general ed teacher, you can sit in the general ed teacher’s chair. You may be able to leave early if you follow the steps above and if the parent provides written consent for you to leave early.

BUT…it should be clear to anyone who reads the IDEA statute about legal requirements for IEP teams and IEP meetings that…

As a general ed teacher, you do not have the knowledge about programming or the authority to commit district resources.

You cannot legally act as an “administrative designee” who is a required member of the team. Since the LEA representative has the ability to commit district resources, there is no provision for this person to leave during the meeting, or to send a teacher in his/her place.

IDEA requirements for IEP Teams and Team Meetings

Wrightslaw: All About IEPs    Chapter 2, p. 9.

Print Book

Kindle Edition (mobi)

E-Pub Edition

  1. Was in an IEP meeting today for my child an all the teacher left because they didn’t like the decision I made they left out yelling at me an my child in rage please help what steps can I take too address this matter

  2. Can a special education teacher (their employment contract has them hired as a SPED teacher full time) sign an IEP or Eligibility as the General Education teacher? (background their state license states Gen Ed Math and SPED K-12)

  3. What if I am the general Ed teacher, but there is no modification to the curriculum and/or it is not my area (I teach math and the area of disability is reading/writing….I have no knowledge of this curriculum, how to teach it or modify it)

    • You can be excused as long as the parent(s) and the case manager agree in advance that you are not needed.

  4. This is interesting. What if I have a special education teacher who is also has a general ed degree and sits in place of the the 2 positions. Does that count?

    • I was wodnering something similar- can that person sit in as the gened teacher if 1- they are contracted to work as a sped teacher & 2- their gened endorsement is for elementary grades when the “Sped student’ is in high school?

    • A team member may not sign and represent two different areas. So, NO, the special education teacher may not sign as the sped and general education teacher

  5. I teach a self-contained special ed preschool class and our district has no general ed equivalent. We have been told to pull in kindergarten and first grade teachers (with no knowledge of preschoolers or pre-k state core) to sign as gen. ed. but I’ve just looked at the IDEA wording and it says “not less than 1 regular education teacher of such child (if the child is , or may be participating in the regular education environment)”. Since my students are never in a regular education environment, do I need to have the a general education teacher sign at all?

    • Yes you do. You need a full team with knowledge of both reg ed and sped ed to determine services and programs as they may not always be self-contained and their LRE may change. Also, you need their expertise. They are not sped or gen ed students, they are students first.

      • If the student is moving into a general education kindergarten during the course of the IEP, it makes sense to include them. Otherwise, I disagree with the previous poster that they should be included. The law is clear that the gen ed teacher is legally required only if the student is or may be participating in gen ed. Without an alternative setting to even consider, I can’t see how their exclusion would not be legally compliant. That said, it may still be best practice to include them if their gen ed knowledge is being utilized in helpful ways.

    • NO – pulling in just any reg ed teacher when the law is clear that one is not needed breaks that student’s right to confidentiality. The federal law states that it must be one of the student’s regular education teachers – not just any reg ed teacher.

  6. Does anyone have a template for this in writing? Is there a general form to fill out to have parents sign before the IEP? I’ve been doing IEPs for 10 years and the ‘in writing’ part is news to me. Please let me know if there is a generic form for this.

    • It was a file in our schools IEP computer program. It took alot of work to find but they managed to find a template that had fill in name, check reason and parent signature. We had 2 IEP meetings that year i signed it one where all the information was given shared and expressed (they had filled in thier part of the draft-iep forms) and a second shoter one with the individuals who were unable to make the initial meeting to cover questions concerns and growth relevent to thier specialty.

  7. My question is : In CO, districts are refusing to keep children on IEPs who must, due to their dx’d LD have partial teaching done at home . IEP has a private school placement by another out of state district from where the parents and child moved from.
    the CO district refused to acknowledge child was even eligible for IEP despite current IEP with private school placement.
    Parents are paying for private teachers at home for 3 academic classes child would fail in mainstream school. Child has ADHD/ remediated dyslexia/severe dysgraphia /SLD. Child is 2E ( twice exceptional) with IQ 130 and VERY extroverted. CO districts are claiming they don’t need to put child on IEP due to dual enrollment of homeschool and public. Child must have private teaching DUE to disabilities. Can district refuse to put child on IEP provide services?

    • 1 the current IEP must be honored until the expiration date.
      2 the school can request an evaluation, and YOU are within your rights to get a private evaluation. The two evaluations must be compareable. If the school assesses math skills the private eval cant focus on reading comprehension. In some cases the same test/s must be taken. Your private evaluator can look at the scores from the schools evaluation and give her own input, differing from the school.
      3 remind the school that just because your child reads above grade level doesnt mean her spelling/phonics is at grade level etc. Force them to look at the rough scores and not just the composite scores.
      4 if all else fails after the IEP expires insist on a 504

      • The advice about IEPs and Independent educational evaluations is incorrect.

        1. An IEP does NOT have to be “honored until the expiration date.”

        Circumstances and needs change. A parent, teacher, or related service provider may decide that a child’s IEP needs to be reviewed and revised early, before the annual review.

        Reasons for reviewing and revising IEPs:

        * the child is not making sufficient progress toward goals in IEP
        * the child is struggling in general ed, needs more help
        * the child mastered all the goals in his IEP and need new goals.

        2. If a parent disagrees with the school’s evaluation, the parent may request an independent educational evaluation at public expense (IEE). The parent may also get an evaluation from a private sector evaluator on their own.

        There is NO REQUIREMENT that the evaluations be comparable, test the same skills, or use the same tests. Parents often claim that the school’s evaluation is not comprehensive and does not test problematic skills. An IEE should address areas that were neglected in the school’s evaluation.

        4. The child should not be dumped into a 504 Plan because the IEP date expired. Regardless of the IEP date, the child continues to be eligible for special education and an IEP. If the IEP expires, the team needs to provide the services agreed upon, and negotiate the areas of disagreement.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Please help us defeat spam. Thank you. *