As a parent, you may have concerns regarding your child's education program. In line with these concerns, you may have expressed displeasure at an IEP meeting and felt that your concerns were not addressed. You may feel like your dealings on behalf of your child with the school district are always confrontational or fruitless. Whatever the circumstances, maybe you felt as though your only recourse was to file a due process complaint against the school district to protect your child's rights.
Now, you have filed the complaint, and you went to a resolution session with the school district where the school district offered you a settlement agreement. You might agree with what the school district is offering, but there may be a lot of other language in there you don't quite understand. Should you sign it? The school district may be telling you that if you don't, your child won't get these services, which is true. Should you sign it?
The answer is most likely no. School districts have the benefit of having legal counsel available to them to draft their settlement agreements and to consult regarding settlement agreements. Just because you don't see their lawyers at that meeting does not mean they are not involved. As a parent, you are put at the disadvantage of most likely never having seen a settlement agreement before, or legal language.
Beware of waiver language. Many settlement agreements will require that parents waive all claims up to that date, and sometimes even state that parents will waive claims into the future. This waiver language must be reviewed by a legal eye in order to ensure that what you are giving up is even with what you are getting for your child.
The attorneys here at Augustin Egelsee LLP have many years experience reviewing educational settlement agreements, and can review the agreement for you and even perhaps advise you on substance issues for services and assessments your child may be entitled to but not getting in the agreement.
Contact Our Office
If you have any questions about your child's special education services, Contact us by email or call us at 714-602-1498 or 866-781-7723 (toll free) for more information.
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