Sometimes, things just don’t work out the way we expect. This may even apply to your child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or other special education service. Even after meticulous planning and countless meetings crafting what you felt was the best special education plan for your child, the implementation and results of the program may not turn out to be what you anticipated. Perhaps, you even feel that the services are doing more harm than good. Luckily, parents are not trapped by their initial consent to special education services.
In December of 2008, the United States Department of Education amended a number of regulations implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Among these amendments was a provision allowing parental revocation of consent for special education and related services after their implementation. Prior to this amendment, the school and parent both had to agree on removing a child from special education services.
Parents considering the revocation of their child’s special education services need to understand the process, outcome and rights they have going forward.
The process of revoking consent for special education and related services
A parent can revoke their consent for special education programs at any time, for any reason. While a school district is free to inquire as to the reason a parent wishes to end services, the parent is in no way obligated to answer.
A parent must submit the revocation of consent for continued provision of special education and related services in writing. Upon receiving this written revocation, the school district must provide the parent with prior written notice. This notice will explain to the parent exactly what special education services are being discontinued, among other information. After this prior written notice is provided, the school district must discontinue all special education and related services within a reasonable time period.
The outcome of revoking consent of special education services
A parent may not revoke consent to a particular program or service in particular. The revocation of consent is an all or nothing proposition. It will end all of the student’s special education and related services.
The effect revoking consent has on the ability to request special education services in the future
Just because you have revoked your consent to the currently implemented services does not mean your child will be denied access to special education programs in the future. You retain the right to request an evaluation of your child by the school to see which, if any, special education services may be appropriate. In fact, the school still owes your child the same child-find obligations as any other child suspected of being in need of special education.
The decision to revoke consent can be a difficult one. An education law attorney can ultimately help you make the right decision, guide you through the revocation process and assist you in securing a new evaluation and special education services for your child.