Legal Protections & Responsibilities
Re-authorization of the IDEA 2004
Printable Version (65
Individuals with Disabilities
Education Improvement Act Key Provisions
All provisions take effect on July
1, 2005 except for the highly qualified provisions---which are effective
The state education agency must
prohibit school district personnel from requiring a child to obtain
a prescription for medication as a condition of attending school
or receiving an evaluation or services.
- Staff may consult with parents
regarding the students academic and functional performance
or behavior or the need for an evaluation.
EVALUATION AND IEPS
Exceptions have been added to
the state mandated time frame for conducting an initial evaluation.
The timeline does not apply if:
- An initial evaluation was begun
but prior to the determination of eligibility, the child transfers
to another district; if the district is making sufficient progress
to ensure prompt completion and the parent and district agree
to a specific timeline.
- The parent of a child repeatedly
fails or refuses to produce the child.
If the parent refuses to provide
consent to initiate special education and related services
- The district cannot utilize
due process to obtain consent.
- The district will not be considered
in violation of the requirement to provide FAPE.
- The district will not be required
to convene an IEP team meeting or develop an IEP.
The screening of a student by
a teacher or specialist to determine appropriate strategies is not
considered an evaluation [for which consent is required.]
A reevaluation will occur not
more frequently than once a year, unless the parent and the district
- A reevaluation will be conducted
at least once every three years, unless the parents and district
agree that an evaluation is unnecessary.
Assessments of students who transfer
from one school district to another in the same academic year should
be coordinated to ensure prompt completion.
When determining whether a child
has a specific learning disability, a school district is not required
to take into consideration whether a child has a severe discrepancy
between achievement and intellectual ability in oral expression,
basic reading skill, reading comprehension, mathematical expression,
or basic mathematical reasoning.
- A school district may use a
process that determines if the child responds to scientific,
research-based intervention as a part of the evaluation procedures.
An evaluation is not required
before graduation or leaving the system at age 21.
- A summary of the childs
academic achievement and functional performance, including recommendations
on how to assist the child in meeting postsecondary goals is
IEPs will include a description
of benchmarks or short-term objectives, for children who take alternate
assessments aligned to alternate achievement standards.
Progress reporting is clarified:
- IEPs will include a description
of how the childs progress toward meeting annual goals
will be measured and when periodic reports concurrent
with the issuance of a report card- will be provided.
The requirement to include courses
of study at age 14 as part of transition in an IEP has been eliminated.
- Not later than the first IEP
to be in effect when the child turns 16 and updated annually:
measurable post secondary goals based on appropriate transition
assessments related to training, education, employment and,
where appropriate, independent living skills;
transition services (including courses of study) needed to
assist the child in reaching those goals.
Attendance of IEP team members
at meetings is modified.
- An IEP team member may be excused
from attending an IEP meeting in whole or in part, if the parent
and district agree that the team members area is not being
discussed or modified.
- An IEP team member may be excused
from attending an IEP meeting in whole or in part, when the meeting
involves modification or discussion of the members area,
parent and district consent to the excusal; and
member submits in writing to the parent and other members
of the IEP team input into the development of the IEP prior
to the meeting.
The procedures for amending an
IEP are modified.
- After the annual IEP meeting,
the district and parent may agree to modify the IEP without having
a meeting. A written document amending the IEP would be developed
- The entire IEP does not have
to be redrafted.
- Upon request, the parent must
be provided with a revised copy of the IEP with the amendments
- To the extent possible reevaluation
meetings and other IEP team meetings should be consolidated.
The law provides an opportunity
for States to allow the parents and districts the option of developing
a comprehensive multi-year IEP.
- Not to exceed three years.
- Designed to coincide with the
natural transition points of the child.
- 15 States will be approved.
program must be optional for parents.
consent is required.
district must conduct a review at the natural transition
district must conduct an annual review of the IEP to determine
the childs current level of progress and the annual
goals are being achieved.
the goals are not being achieved a more thorough review of
the IEP must be carried out within 30 calendar days.
A two-year limitation for filing
a request for a due process hearing has been added.
- Time limit: from the time the
parent or public agency knew or should have known about the alleged
action that forms the basis of the complaint.
- Exceptions to the time limit:
if the LEA misrepresented that the problem was resolved or the
LEA withheld required information.
- No timeline at present.
All required information must
be provided on a request/notice for a due process hearing
or a hearing cannot be held.
- Within 15 days of receipt,
the other party may notify the hearing officer that the notice
is not sufficient.
- The hearing officer has 5 days
to notify the parties in writing whether the notice is or is
If prior written notice was not
provided to the parent regarding the subject matter of the due process
hearing, the district must do so within 10 days of receipt of the
due process request.
Due process petitions can only
be amended if the other party consents in writing and is given the
opportunity to resolve the matter in a resolution meeting or if the
hearing officer grants permission to do so.
The law adds a provision for a
- Within 15 days of receipt of
the parents complaint, the LEA shall convene a meeting:
members of the IEP team
representative with decision-making authority
attorney may not attend unless the parents attorney
discuss their complaint
has the opportunity to resolve the complaint.
- This session may be waived
if the parent and district agree in writing, or agree to use
the mediation process.
- If the complaint is not resolved
within 30 days of receipt, the due process hearing may proceed.
- If resolution is reached, a
legally binding agreement must be signed by both parties.
- The agreement may be voided
within 3 business days.
- The agreement is enforceable
in state or federal court.
Decisions in a due process hearing
must be based on whether the student received a FAPE.
- A hearing officer may find
that a child did not receive a FAPE due to procedural errors
if the procedural inadequacies:
- Impeded the childs
right to FAPE.
- Significantly impeded the
parents right to participate in decision-making.
- Caused deprivation of educational
- The hearing officer may order
the district to comply with procedural requirements.
A time limit for filing appeals
of a due process decision has been added. The appeal must be filed
in a state court or federal district court within 90 days of the
decision of the hearing officer.
A new provision for the recovery
of attorney fees has been added. Fees may be sought against the parents
attorney by districts if the district prevails in a due process hearing:
- If the petition is determined
to be frivolous, unreasonable or without foundation, or,
- If the petition was filed for
an improper purpose, such as to harass, delay or increase costs.
A copy of the procedural safeguards
statement is given one time a year and also
- Upon initial referral or parental
request for an evaluation
- Upon first filing of a request
for a due process hearing
- Upon request by the parent.
A child who is removed from his
current placement for disciplinary reasons must continue to receive
services and as appropriate, a functional behavioral assessment,
behavioral intervention services and modifications, that are designed
to address the behavior violation so that it does not recur.
Within 10 days of any decision
to change the childs placement due to a violation of the code
of conduct, the IEP team must conduct a manifestation determination.
The conduct is considered a manifestation
of the childs disability if:
- The conduct was in question
was caused by, or had a direct and substantial relationship to
the childs disability; or
- The conduct was the direct
result of the districts failure to implement the IEP.
If the behavior was a manifestation
the IEP team must:
- Conduct a FBA and implement
a BIP provided the district had not conducted such an assessment
prior to the manifestation determination.
- Where a BIP has been developed,
review the plan and modify as necessary to address the behavior.
- Except where a child is removed
to an IAES for 45 school days, return the child to the
placement from which the child was removed unless the parent
and the district agree to a change of placement as part of the
School personnel may remove a
child to an IAES for weapons, drugs or for inflicting serious bodily
injury on another person at school or a school function
- The district must notify the
parents of the decision and all procedural safeguards no later
than the date when the decision to take action is made.
- The IEP team determines the
Requesting a hearing
- The parent may request a hearing
if there is disagreement with any decision regarding the placement
of manifestation determination
- A district that believes maintaining
the current placement is substantially likely to result in injury
to the child or others.
Placement during appeals
- The child remains in the IAES
pending the decision of the hearing officer or until the time
period of the removal expires, whichever comes first unless the
parents and district agree otherwise.
- An expedited hearing must occur
within 20 school days of the date the hearing is requested
and a decision must be issued within 10 school days after the
Basis of knowledge
- A district is not deemed to
have knowledge that the child was a child with a disability if
the parent refused an evaluation or services.