Procedural Safeguards - Parent Rights are Procedural Safeguards for Special Education Programs
Procedural safeguards provide minimum guidance to schools on requirements for:
- Prior notice of meetings and proposed decisions;
- Reviewing student records;
- The functions of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team;
- Assessment and Independent Evaluations;
- Parent Participation in IEP team meetings and parent consent;
- Filing formal complaints, mediation, due process hearings, and appeals;
- Interim alternative educational settings;
- Parent placement of their children in private schools;
- Civil court actions;
- Development of IEPs;
- Placement decisions and least restrictive environment; and
- Specially Designed Instruction and related services.
Procedural Safeguards - Parent Rights Belong to Parents and Benefit the Child
Under the IDEA, a child's parents hold the child's educational rights. Parents keep those rights until:
- The child reaches the age of majority based on his state's regulations;
- The parents' or guardian's rights are terminated through a court proceeding, as in cases of parent mental incompetence and child abuse, neglect, and abandonment; or
- In some cases, one parent could be awarded educational decision-making rights in a divorce decree or settlement.
- He graduates;
- He ages out of his school program at age 21;
- He drops out of school or becomes home-schooled. However, districts will periodically send reminders to the student and parent or guardian that special education programs are available to them should the child re-enroll. If the child re-enrolls, his rights remain in place until he graduates or ages out of the program; or
- He is found legally incompetent in court. If a young adult is found incompetent, rights revert to the parent or legal guardian. In cases where there is no parent or legal guardian, the courts may appoint a case manager to oversee the adult's life.