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Where is your child educated during due process procedures under IDEA?

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The federal regulations for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) includes many provisions to protect the rights of parents and their child with a disability while also giving families and school systems means by which to resolve disputes. These rights are known as procedural safeguards. Parents have specific rights under this law to due process hearing requests and their child’s school placement under 34 CFR &300.518.

Except in the case of a change of placement due to disciplinary removals, once a due process hearing request is sent to the other party, during the resolution process time frame, and while waiting for the decision of the impartial hearing officer or you and the school district have agreed otherwise, your child must remain in his/her current educational placement.

If the due process hearing request involves an application for initial admission to public school, your child, with your consent, must be placed in the regular public school program, with no special education provided until the completion of all the proceedings.

If the due process hearing request involves an application for initial services under Part B of the IDEA for a child who is transitioning from being served under Part C of the IDEA because the child has reached the age of three to Part B of the IDEA, the school district is not required to provide Part C services that the child has been receiving. If the child is then found to be eligible for special education services under Part B of the IDEA and you, the parent consent for the child to receive special education and related services for the first time, then, pending the outcome of the proceedings, the school district must provide those special education and related services that you both agree upon.

For students under Part B of the IDEA who have received a disciplinary removal, school personnel may consider any unique circumstances on a case-by-case basis, when determining whether a change of placement, made in accordance with the requirements related to discipline, are appropriate for a child with a disability who violates a school code of student conduct. More information on this topic will be discussed in upcoming articles.