AUTHOR: Cassy Christianson

Schools and IEPs

What if You Don’t Agree with the Proposed IEP Services?

Signing the IEP form denotes your agreement with the plan and will allow services to begin. Here’s what to do if you don’t agree with the plan.

  • If you disagree with the IEP, then you need to verbally reject it. Doing this provides the school personnel the chance to rethink the services they are offering. If you still can’t reach any kind of resolution after you have given your verbal intent, you have the option to accept or formally reject the IEP.
  • You must make a formal rejection in writing on the IEP form. Sign and date the “I do not accept the educational program” clause. You may note that you attended the meeting, but that you are not giving your permission to implement it. You have the option to take the IEP for further consideration and may sign and return it when you are ready.
  • If you only disagree with a portion of the IEP, you may sign the IEP and include a statement of exceptions in the space provided. Those exceptions will not be implemented until the matter is resolved.
  • Keep a complete copy of the rejected IEP. You may notify the Special Education Division of the California Department of Education (at 1-800-926-0648) if you feel you have a complaint or a due process issue .
  • You must file a complaint or request for a due process hearing for the issue to continue. After the formal rejection is filed, a school representative will contact you to facilitate a compromise or a mutually satisfactory conclusion. Or the Office of Administrative Hearing (OAH) in Sacramento, California will send you a notice of mediation .

What is a due process hearing? If there continues to be disagreement after mediation, the case will need a due process hearing. The case will be heard before an impartial hearing officer. This officer has the power to decide the outcome of the IEP. It’s best to use an advocate or attorney for assistance.

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