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