“Yee Haw, Howdy, Amen” – When Schools Make Up their Mind in Advance!

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Special education services, especially ABA services for children with autism, are expensive. In most states, demand is increasing.

At the same time, for many programs, local funding is decreasing.

  • Is this problem causing more schools to make up their mind in advance?
  • Are districts developing unofficial policies of pre-determining what programs they will use based on cost?

IDEA requires Parent Involvement in Placement Decisions and developing an IEP for your child. Pre-selecting programs violates this right.  https://www.wrightslaw.com/blog/?p=394

We can’t afford it just isn’t a defensible reason for not providing a necessary support for a student in special education.”

“If school personnel make up their mind in advance of the ARD meeting … the school is committing a violation of federal law.”

Be careful, partner! advises the Texas School Administrators’ Legal Digest Online.

Yee Haw, Howdy, Amen. Avoiding Claims of Predetermination in Special Ed Cases cites a Tennessee case where “The court held that the school district impermissibly had engaged in predetermination—violating the rights of the parents to meaningfully participate in the development of their child’s IEP.”

You’ll find the complete article here. http://parkplacepubs.biz/wordpress/yee-haw-howdy-amen-avoiding-claims-of-predetermination-in-special-ed-cases/

  1. My 15 year old with an IEP started HS at a NPS and they were not working well for emotional regulation and told us to leave. We did, and spent the last 2 1/2 months looking at schools. 6 schools that the district offered were too restrictive and had use of restraint and when the districts tried to enroll our child, each one of them rejected their request. 2 additional schools we looked into also said no. Still 2 more with 1:1 instruction felt too restrictive and at the last 2 we looked at, one was full and the other accepted our child. We feel it is just right. It is a private school, not NPS, and we are about to have a placement IEP. Will we still have protections under IDEA and our IEP, and is it likely to be difficult to get the district to pay? They offered us nothing comparable.

  2. After writing a dissent letter outlining the predetermination of my child’s IEP, I requested by email (indelible) the district define “predetermination” as it relates to an IEP. Then I asked the district again and again for their answer. I never received an answer (which would be an admission of guilt), but the accommodations quickly improved.

  3. The AZ high school is trying to do this to my son now. Special services director actually called me and introduced herself to me and said she had observed my son (without my permission) and that THEY HAE DECIDED where my son was going next year. To a school that uses seclusion rooms and has a history of abuse. Less supports for my son who has severe non verbal autism. I have another son with autism that will be moving up the next year. I’m trying to figure out what to do next.

  4. Sandy, Schools have a great way to make parents feel like they have no choices when they do. YOu have to know what to ask for. Remember you do NOT have to sign anything you do not agree with. If you request something on the IEP and the school refuses the MUST put that refusal in a PWN (prior written notice). Once you start asking for them to put something in writing you may see a change in their actions. It has happened to me with my son’s IEP’s. I have been told so many times ” this is what we do” and my children have received what they NEED not just what is convenient for the school.

  5. How does this apply to “inclusion” rooms? My district saves money (basically) by putting all children into the “inclusion room” which is really the IEPs, rounded out class size with non-IEP students and SpEd Teacher accompanies cohort some of the day, aide is there all day. I was a big advocate in my sons IEP, actually rejected theirs and wrote my own and submitted to team. But, I was made to feel like I had no choice with placement because it was a “regular class that they call the inclusion room”. What if I don’t want that? This level of “placement” seems to be outside the bounds of placement arguments. I didn’t put my foot down, so, I don’t know what the response would be if I said “no”. But this isn’t even specified in his plan. It’s just “what they do”. Anyone else in this situation? It’s not a substantially sep placement.

  6. My district engaged in predetermination across both my kids for as long as we were in the public system. They even – by accident – invited us to one of their meetings that they held before the IEP meeting. We later heard from an ABA provider that these premeeting meetings were used to determine what services we’d be offered and how they will sell them to us.

    My question then and now is: How can you prove determination? Unless the district messes up and talks to you before the IEP meeting it is hard to tell a pre-meeting discussion between staff from a predetermination meeting to decide placement without parent participation.

    Can you write an article on how to prove predetermination?

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