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Membership Exception Request

This form is to be completed by a parent, advocate or related professional who is interested in becoming a new COPAA member but does not qualify for membership under COPAA's Bylaws (click here to view).  Please review the criteria carefully before submitting. 


COPAA Membership Exception Policy

  1. An employee of an education agency who is also the parent of a child with a disability, may be considered for membership only after being nominated for membership by two current COPAA members.
  2. A related professional who provides or has provided representation, advice or consultation, in the course of their work as a consultant, expert, expert witness or evaluator, may be considered for membership only after being nominated for membership by two current COPAA members.
  3. A school board member who is an attorney, advocate, parent of a child with a disability, or other person may be considered for COPAA membership if they advocate for the educational rights of children with disabilities. This includes any person who has been elected or appointed to a school board but whose term has not begun. No school board member who does not advocate for the educational rights of children with disabilities may be considered for COPAA membership. An existing COPAA member shall notify the Board of Directors if he/she is elected or appointed to a school board, and provide the interview on the first renewal of his/her COPAA membership, and every 3 years thereafter. After approval, if the school board has takes action by resolution or other official action, to participate in IDEA, Section 504, or other special-education litigation in court against parents or students the member must immediately resign his/her membership in COPAA.
  4. A law student who has worked in a paid or unpaid capacity for an entity or individual that provides legal representation to local education agencies during the past two years.

After nomination, the individual must be interviewed by a member of COPAA designated by the Membership Committee Chair (s) . The interview shall be conducted in a manner designated by the COPAA Membership Committee Chair(s). The Board Member shall present the proposal for membership to the Board with a recommendation to approve or disapprove. 2/3 of the Board members must vote in favor of such membership.


Approved member shall sign an agreement to:


  • abide by the list serve rules and not disclose any communications from the list serve.
  • ·not access the COPAA databanks nor the list serve email using either a school district computer or school district email address.

The result of the application, including the date the membership was approved or denied via the waiver and the agreement signed (if applicable) shall be entered into the activity log in the member’s record.  A copy of the application materials and the signed agreement shall be kept in the COPAA Team area of COPAA Connect, in a file folder marked Membership Exceptions

[Adopted - COPAA Board, 12-1-19]

Process and estimated timeline:

1) Please be sure to complete this form thoroughly. 
2) You are responsible to request letters of recommendations from at least two current COPAA members.  Please instruct them to send to membership@copaa.org. Note: School Board Members and Law Students do not require recommendation letters
3) The form and letters (if required) are reviewed by the COPAA's Membership Co-Chairs.
4) A designated Membership Co-Chair will contact the individual making an exception request or their references as necessary to clarify any questions or request additional information.
5) The Membership Committee Co-chairs submit a recommendation to approve or not to COPAA's Board of Directors.  Any recommendation must past the Board with a 3/4 majority vote.    
6) Pending new member will be notified of the outcome. If membership is approved, it will be activated for a full year from that date. If not approved, a full refund will be issued. 

The entire process takes 2-4 weeks from the time that all required information is received by COPAA's Membership Committee.


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