Parents often feel lost when seeking help for a child that is struggling in school. All children have a right to an education Texas. The Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is meant to ensure that all students with disabilities receive the education that they deserve.
- The Referral
- Notice of Rights
- Full and Individual Evaluation
- The Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) Meeting
- The Individual Education Program (IEP)
- The Due Process Hearing
- Legal Action
1. The Referral
Any child with a suspected disability may be referred for an evaluation for special education eligibility by either a parent, teacher or any other professional involved in the child’s education. The child should then be evaluated to determine what, if any, programs the child might be eligible for.
2. Notice of Rights
Upon referral of a child, the school district is required to give written notice to the parents regarding the schools proposed changes to the child’s education or the schools refusal to make changes. It must also seek the parents consent when required. This notice should include:
- The identification (does your child have a disability or need special education to benefit from education);
- The evaluation (initial evaluation, re-evaluation, dismissal);
- The placement of your child; or
- How the child is provided a “free appropriate public education” (FAPE).
3. Full and Individual Evaluation
After obtaining the parents consent, the school must do a full and individual initial evaluation to determine if the child has a disability and what, if any, are the child’s need for special education programs or services.
4. The Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) Meeting
Once the evaluation is complete, the school will schedule a meeting of the Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) committee. The child’s parents are members of this committee and will be contact about attending the meeting. The committee, including the parents, will determine the needs of the child. If the parents disagree with the committees, the parents may ask to stop the meeting and seek further evaluation of the child. If the committee determine that the child does have special needs, the school will seek the parent’s consent to provide services. Once consent is given, the ARD committee will then develop your child’s individual education program (IEP)
5. The Individual Education Program (IEP)
The Individual Education Program (IEP) is a written plan that is specifically planned for the child regarding how the child will be educated.
6. Due Process Hearing
Parents who are not satisfied with the process may request an additional ARD meeting however the school may refuse the request. In that event, the parent may request a due process hearing with the Texas Education Agency. This hearing will be conducted in front of a Special Education Hearing Officer. The hearing officer will listen to evidence from both the school and the parents then make a Final Decision and Order.
7. Legal Action
When parents have exhausted the above process and feel that their child is not receiving the education that they are entitled to under the Constitution, then legal action is often times the only option.
If you are a parent of a child with special needs who is not receiving the education they are entitled to, contact Daly & Campbell for a free constitutional.