Parents who attend IEP meetings are generally looking to obtain something very simple for their child, an educational placement that is appropriate and will allow their child the opportunity to make substantive educational progress. However, the IEP process can be very stressful and confusing. What all parents should be aware of in preparing for an IEP meeting, is that the burden is on the school district to provide a Free and Appropriate Public Education ("FAPE") for all children. Not only must the educational placement be appropriate, but it also must be qualify as a clear written offer. (Union Sch. Dist, v Smith, (9th Cir. 1994), 15 F.3d 1519.)
With this in mind, do not be afraid to voice your opinion regarding your child's educational plan. If there is something which has not been clearly explained during the IEP meeting, or has not been clearly written within your child's IEP document, simply ask for clarification. Additionally, if you do not feel that the offer of FAPE will allow for your child to make substantive progress throughout the school year, you are not required to sign the IEP. Parents should not feel pressured to sign an IEP immediately following the meeting; consenting to a child's individualized education plan is an important decision, one which may take time. There is no need to hastily sign an IEP document in which you are not completely sure is appropriate for your child.
Contact Our Office
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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