An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a legal document that sets out your child’s learning needs and how the school will provide for those needs. It also describes how your child’s progress will be measured. It is extremely important to your child’s educational development.
As a parent, you have the right to be intimately involved in your child’s education, and that includes all aspects of your child’s IEP. Below are several of your fundamental reasons as a parent whose child has an IEP.
- You can participate in all meetings in which your child’s educational needs are discussed.
One of the most important roles that you play in your child’s education is gathering information. Having the right information will allow you to meaningfully contribute to the development of your child’s IEP. You can also request an IEP meeting if you feel that your child’s needs are not being met under the current plan or you simply want a status update.
- You can have your child undergo an independent evaluation.
There may be situations where you do not agree with the plan set out by school administrators or other professionals. You can have your child go through an evaluation outside of the school. While you will usually have to pay for this service on your own, there are situations where you may be able to have these expenses reimbursed.
- You can deny or provide consent regarding services or evaluations.
As a parent, you have the right to dictate your child’s educational needs. That includes evaluations and developing the IEP. A school must first obtain your consent before evaluating your child or providing special education services. You can agree with everything they suggest, or you can pick and choose which services your child will use. The school must also get your written consent to change your child’s IEP.
- You have the right to contest a school’s decision.
You may not agree with how your child’s school is handling his or her situation. There are internal appeal processes to contest school action that you can utilize. You may also be able to file a civil lawsuit in some cases as well. You may also be entitled to private education for your child if he or she left the public school system due to their an inability to address your child’s unique educational needs.
- You have the right to access education records.
As a parent, you should have access to your child’s educational records at any time. You should also be able to make copies and speak with administrators or teachers to obtain explanations regarding specific documents or files. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act helps you with this particular right as well.
Getting Legal Assistance
If you feel like your child’s school is not meeting your child’s needs, you have options, and you have rights. The team at Matus Law Group can help you deal with any issues that crop up related to your child’s IEP or other educational needs. Contact us for more information.