Parental Rights In Special Education

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA) and the state regulations implementing this law parents have many rights. Knowledge of these rights and how to utilize them makes for effective advocacy for your child.

Parents and guardians of children who have or are suspected to have disabilities have the right to:

  • Request that their child be evaluated or re-evaluated.
  • Attend an Identification Meeting to discuss their evaluation request within 20 days of my written request.
  • Receive prior written notice of any Child Study/IEP team meetings.
  • Receive written notice of decisions by the CST regarding their child.
  • Be provided with the reasoning behind any denial of their requests.
  • Receive all evaluation reports 10 days prior to the Eligibility Meeting to discuss the evaluations.
  • Participate in person or by electronic means at Identification, Eligibility and IEP Meetings.
  • Tape IEP Meetings (under New Jersey’s administrative code).
  • Request an independent evaluation of a child, at district expense, if the parents disagree with an evaluation done by the district.
  • Consent or revoke consent to special education services for my child.
  • Review and comment on my child’s IEP or 504 Plan before it is implemented.
  • Write Parental Concerns for inclusion In the IEP. 

We highly recommend that every parent or guardian of a child with a disability understand these rights. We offer consultations with an attorney or advocate experienced in special education law to assist you in understanding your rights. Contact the author if you or someone you know needs an experienced special education attorney or advocate.