Congress’ has repeatedly found that "the education of children with disabilities can be made more effective by … strengthening the role and responsibility of parents and ensuring that families of such children have meaningful opportunities to participate in the education of their children at school and at home.” § 601(C)(5). IEP meetings are the primary venue for parental participation. The following issues have stifled parent ability to be full partners in the process and should be corrected:
- Provide Useful, Simple Interpretive Guidance to Parents
- Making Clear Parents are Equal IEP Team Members
- Emphasizing the requirement that Administrators at IEP Meeting must Have Authority to Commit Resources.
- Reverse Commentary and Letters Impairing Parent’s Right to Invite Related Services Professionals and Other IEP Team Members to IEP Meetings.
- Reversing Letter to LaDolce (2007) regarding IEEs.
- Clarifying Letter to Anonymous (2008), in which OSEP claimed that IDEA does not establish any particular time frames for obtaining consent to an evaluation and OSEP would not impose one. This letter should be reversed because it inappropriately allows schools to undermine the 60-day deadline.
- OSEP’s Interpretation Eliminating Stay-Put for Children Transitioning from Part C to Part B is Inappropriate and Should Be Reversed (Pardini).
- Retract Letter to Mamas (2004)
- Make Clear Parents’ and Experts’ Rights to Observe in the Classroom. Parents and their experts often need to observe the classroom. To fully participate as team members they should have the right to observe the child’s education in progress, a proposed placement, whether accommodations and services are being provided, and other matters.
Legislative fixes to the foregoing should also be considered.