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A Pre-Determined IEP Offer

What is the standard for whether or not a school district has arrived at an IEP team meeting with a pre-determined offer of services?

Federal courts have generally forbidden school districts from arriving at IEP team meetings with a pre-determined offer of services, given the federally mandated requirement of parental participation. While federal courts have determined that a school district may arrive at an IEP team meeting with a pre-written offer, they have specifically stated that it may not be a take a "take it or leave it" position. (J.G. v. Douglas County School Dist., 552 F.3d 786, 801 (9th Cir. 2008), fn. 10 (citing Ms. S v. Vashon Island School Dist., 337 F.3d 1115, 1131 (9th Cir. 2003))).

Furthermore, federal courts have stated that school district staff may meet beforehand to prepare goals and objectives and can provide a written offer before parents have agreed to it. (Doyle v. Arlington County Sch. Bd., 806 F.Supp.1253, 1262 (E.D. Va. 1992)). School districts have been determined to not have predetermined an IEP simply by meeting to discuss a child's programming in advance of an IEP meeting. (J.L. v. Mercer Island School District, 575 F.3d 1025, 1038 (9th Cir. 2009).

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Navigating the road of special education law can be difficult and confusing, if you have any questions about your child's special education placement or 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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Augustin Egelsee L.L.P.
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Phone: 714-602-1498
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