Parent Rights: SPECIAL ED PARENT ADVISORY COMMITTEES?

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Susan:  How are the “parent” chosen to be on the SEPAC? I have been asking for 3 years if my district has one and, either been told “no” or not answered. Today I find buried deep on an obscure page of the school board’s new website that there is a SEPAC and they have been meeting. Are these meetings supposed to be open to all parents of special education students? Do these meetings have to follow the Sunshine Laws?

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Jill G

Susan –

The “rules” regarding special education parent groups vary by location.

Some states require that they exist – at an area, county, local or other level. Other states do not. Some states leave membership open to anyone who wants it, some restrict it to appointed members. And the purpose of the groups also varies by location.

I suggest that you to contact your local parent center to see what rules exist regarding parent groups, if any, in your state (http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center/). They should also be able to give you some ideas for successfully connecting with your local group.