IEPs: CHANGING IEP WITHOUT NOTIFYING STATE AGENCY WHO HAS CUSTODY

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Julia:  CFR 300.324(a)(4)(i) …may agree not to convene an IEP Team…may develop a written document to amend or modify…(p 250 of Spec. Ed. Law). My question: If a child is a ward of the state and is assigned a surrogate parent, can the school and surrogate parent also agree not to convene and IEP Team and agree to changes on the IEP without notifying the state agency having custody of that child?

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Jill G
01/05/2016 4:58 pm

Julia –
If your talking about getting the *permission* of the custodial agency before acting, my thinking is that this is NOT required. The surrogate parent meets IDEA’s definition of parent, so is supposed to have the same special education rights to act on the child’s behalf that any parent has. So you would be able to agree to not convene the Team, and then agree to an amended IEP.
If you want to be on the safe side, though, go ahead and contact your state’s surrogate parent program.

Jill G
01/05/2016 4:58 pm

But, as an acting surrogate, I will always “notify” the agency – or, more specifically, the child’s direct caseworker – before I make any decision that would substantially impact the child’s education. As surrogates, we don’t have the benefit of seeing the kids on a daily basis or being able to gauge their progress (or lack of) first hand. So I will speak with the case worker at the very least – and try to speak with the child, their direct caregiver, therapists, etc. – to get their feedback before I take action or make a decision. This is not required, but I certainly think it’s best practice. I, of course, also notify them of the final action/decision afterward.