Special Education/Iep and other


In ny state do you have to sign an iep?
What if you never consented to it for a year but didn't file due process?
Is there another avenue
What if a parent can't afford due process without going into debt but doesn't want to consent to iep
Lastly if school board won't allow sibling of special needs child to attend same school
(There's plenty of space) in district but not same zone is there somewhere in state we can complain to
That this is arbitrary and capricious? Thanks in advance

Technically no one needs to physically sign an IEP.  We do that to document who attended and participated in the meeting.  The exception is that each person on an IEP team for a SLD student has to mark that they agree or disagree with the decision.  An IEP team needs to meet consensus, all don't have to agree.  Any member can write a decent.

There are three complaint avenues other than talking with your district officials.  The are all conducted by the State Department of Education, Exceptional Student Services.  First is a what is called a formal complaint.  You call, mail a form or online complete a complaint form. State investigation officials investigate the complaint and respond within 60 days. The decisions of the investigator are binding.  The second is mediation, where a trained mediator tries to find acceptable compromise bet between the two parties.  Both have to agree to accept the conclusions prior to mediation.  In my experience this works only in unique cases.  The third is due process and you can file that whenever.  Special Education due process cases are heard by adjudicated law judges and are much like a real court case, but the decisions are made by the solo ALJ.  

The only IEP that a parent has to agree to is the initial one, when they sign to accept placement.  Otherwise a parent can disagree and refuse to sign but the IEP can be legally implemented because the team has met consensus.  In the field parental refusal is considered to have more power, so it can work.

The school board must place each child with disability in the least restrictive environment, which includes the home school, which is always least restrictive, but it depends upon the program needs of the child and that school's capability to provide what he or she needs.  If they don't have the prescribed program they must create it.  So, the answer is maybe.

The final thing you should know is that in 2008 the law was changed to allow parents to Revoke special education services if they are not pleased.  The parent simply writes a letter to district officials asking to revoke (give up) special education rights for your child.  Following a meeting to clearly state what you are giving up, you child returns to the general classroom.  This means all or nothing, you give up all special education including due process protections, but it can't be just parts of the program, like giving up physical therapy but keeping academic help.  

Sorry it took so long to respond, but I was recovering from knee surgery.  

Good luck...p.s.  As a District Special Education administrator, I was always willing to meet with unhappy parents, attend IEP meetings in those cases and help the parent feel heard and the child to meet success.  If haven't tried this it might be good to attempt before you file a complaint, or revoke service.


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Dr. Norm Bishop


I have spent nealy 40 years in the area of Special Education. I have had the pleasure of teaching pre-school, elementary, middle, high school and college levels, as well as, served in school district administration buildings in classroom/legal support positions. I have also spent some time working in a State Department of Education Exceptional Student Services Office and am now currently Division Head and Director of Institutional Research at Alice Lloyd College in Pippa Passes, Kentucky. I also teach special education classes on campus. I have also taught full time teacher preparation at Northern Arizona University on the Tucson Campus, Seattle Pacific University, and at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming. In addition to that I have taught adjunct at Seattle Pacific University, City University in Seattle, Ashford University, and Grand Canyon University.


I have experienced directly special education legal issues, process and procedure, and have taught at all levels in every special education category except gifted. My major expertise is diagnostic prescriptive teaching, literacy as it relates to disabilities, technology in special education, and Educational Leadership. My greatest passion in the field is building new programs, implementing and doing the research to see how they work. My Dissertation and principle research interest is in the area of inclusive education, primarily co-teaching of students with disabilities in the general education classroom.

Council for Exceptional Children, Association for the Supervision of Curriculum, National Reading Council.

Teaching Exceptional Children, Published computer assisted instruction, titled PAL, Special Education Basics, college Textbook, Teaching with Precision, college Textbook, Various devotionals at the website, Preachitteachit.com.

I have a B.A. in Secondary Education, a Masters in Special Education (cross categorical), administrative certification, and a second B.A. in Elementary Education. I completed my doctorate in Educational Leadership at Northern Arizona University.

Awards and Honors
Best Summer Program in the Nation (Honorable Mention, when I was Teaching) Multiple local awards

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