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Parents’ Special Education Rights

Parents’ Special Education Rights

By Dr. Kenneth Shore

If your child is being evaluated for or is attending a special-education program, you have a host of rights to ensure that your views are considered and your child’s educational well-being is protected. The following is a summary of these rights that are embodied in federal law and most state laws.

  • You have the right to request an evaluation by the school if you believe your child has an educational disability.
  • You have the right to have your child evaluated by professionals not connected with the school and have the results considered by the school district.
  • You have the right to request an evaluation of your child at school expense by an independent team of professionals if you disagree with the school’s evaluation.
  • You have the right to not agree to the school district’s request to evaluate your child. The school cannot conduct a first-time evaluation of your child without your written consent.
  • You have the right to examine the results of the school’s evaluation of your child, including the reports of the evaluations.
  • You have the right to have the evaluation results explained to you in your native language.
  • You have the right to examine all school records relating to your child, to have the results explained to you, to obtain copies of those records, and request that records you believe are inaccurate be changed.
  • You have the right to expect that your child’s records will not be released to anyone outside of the school without your consent.
  • You have the right to have a person of your choosing accompany you to school meetings about your child.
  • You have the right to participate in the development of the special education program for your child. This is called the Individualized Education Program or IEP.
  • You have the right to have your child receive a free, appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment, if he qualifies for special education.
  • You have the right to refuse consent to the special-education placement of your child. He cannot be placed in a special-education program for the first time without your written consent.
  • You have the right to withdraw your consent at any time to the evaluation or placement of your child in special education.
  • You have the right to observe the special-education placement proposed for your child.
  • You have the right to participate in the annual review of your child’s special-education program.
  • You have the right to be informed in writing before the school changes your child’s special-education program.
  • You have the right to be informed in writing of the school’s reasons for not granting your request to change your child’s special-education program.
  • You have the right to initiate a due-process hearing to challenge the school’s decision regarding the special education of your child.

Contact Info for Dr. Shore

10 Wiltshire Drive
East Windsor, NJ 08520
Phone: (609) 371-1767
Fax: (609) 371-2532

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