Parents' Rights

As a parent, you have the right to:

  • A Free Appropriate Public Education for an individual with exceptional needs.
  • Refer your child (birth through age 21) for an assessment to determine eligibility for special education instruction and services.
  • Receive all information in clear, concise language, and when feasible, in the native language or other mode of communication of the home.
  • Receive written notice explaining the types of assessments to be conducted, the necessity and objectives for the proposed assessment, and be given 15 days to arrive at a decision to give consent for the assessment. The assessment may begin immediately upon receipt of the consent by the Local Education Agency (LEA) and must be completed and an IEP developed within 60 days of the date the LEA receives your consent. The LEA must also provide reasonable prior written notice that your child will be aging out (reaching age 22) or graduating from high school with a regular high school diploma because graduation from high school and/or reaching age 22 means that your child will no longer be eligible for special education services under IDEA 2004.
  • Revoke your consent to initial provision of services. Your revocation must  be in writing and cannot be retroactive. Once you revoke consent to the initial provision of services, the LEA will provide written notice before ceasing the services for your child. If in the future you seek re-enrollment in special education services for your child, the assessment will be treated as an initial evaluation.
  • Present information, including the results of a private evaluation(s), to the IEP team in person or through a representative.
  • Provide prior consent to the implementation of an individualized education program resulting from an assessment, and to have your child's psychological assessment conducted and interpreted by a person trained to evaluate cultural and ethnic factors.
  • Obtain, at public expense, one Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) from a qualified specialist, as defined by SELPA/LEA criteria, if you disagree with an assessment obtained by the LEA within the past two years. You also have the right to have such assessment made part of the record and considered with respect to the provision of a free appropriate public education and as evidence in a due process hearing. However, the LEA may choose to initiate due process to show that its assessment is appropriate. Information about where an IEE may be obtained is available from your LEA or SELPA office.
  • Receive prior written notice before a LEA proposes or refuses to initiate or change the identification, assessment, or educational placement of your child, or the provision of a free appropriate public education.
  • Be informed of the purpose of an IEP meeting together with an explanation of the assessment, recommendations, and rationale for the recommendations, and to be informed of all program options, both public and nonpublic.
  • Participate in each meeting to develop, review, or revise an IEP, to give consent prior to special education services and placement, and to permit student participation in the IEP meeting, when appropriate, and to electronically record on an audio recorder the proceedings of an IEP meeting upon 24-hour notification to the IEP team.
  • Examine all educational records within five days of either a written or oral request and prior to an IEP meeting or administrative hearing, and to obtain copies, including copies of the IEP, the findings of the assessment, recommended educational decisions and the reasons for those decisions.
  • Have your child educated in an environment that will permit the interaction appropriate with nondisabled peers.
  • An immediate interim placement of your child when transferring from a LEA in which the last enrollment was in a special education program and to receive final recommendation, within 30 days, regarding the continuation of the special education services.
  • Request an IEP team meeting to be held within 30 days of the LEA's receipt of a written request to review, or revise the IEP of your child.
  • Appeal the decision of a due process hearing by filing a civil action in state or federal court within 90 days of the decision.
  • Petition the court for award of reasonable attorney's fees and related costs if you are the prevailing party in a due process hearing or subsequent court action.

The LEA has the primary responsibility for ensuring that a FAPE is available to students in the LEA who are eligible for special education. For a list of participating LEAs in the SELPA, contact the SELPA office at (760) - 552-6700. A detailed copy of the Notice of Procedural Safeguards/Parents' Rights can also be obtained from our website or by contacting our office.