My question involves education law in the State of: Pennsylvania
I am confused regarding a transition IEP my son had April 2018 (2017/2018 school year). He was in 7th grade, age 13. He turned 14 THIS school yr. 2018/2019
When we rec’d the invitation it listed “Team” members: parents, spec ed teacher, Reg Ed teacher, LEA Rep/Chair, my son, AND transition liaison, Office of Vocational Rehab. We agreed & signed.
When we attended, the LEA Rep/chair, the transition liaison & Office of Vocational Rehab were not present. I inquired specifically about the liaison thinking it would be helpful for planning & was told it wasn’t important because NEXT year, 8th grade is when we discuss more on transition. Well we ran into a problem NOW regarding my son’s high school course planning. We were told by several people, members of the IEP team cannot be excused from a meeting without parent/student consent. I called a state consult agency and was told the same thing.
When I brought this to the attention of special education dept, I was told invited does mean required and the transition liaison and the Office of Vocational rehab did not need to be excused-as they were not “required” to be there. Furthermore, there was nothing they would have brought to the meeting because my son was only in 7th grade. They said nothing about the LEA Rep not being in attendance.
Here is the issue, my son almost missed some opportunities for 9th grade because there were recent deadlines to apply for certain high school programs. I also found out that course planning for 9th grade is being done this month. So if we waited until April this year for the next IEP meeting, it would have been too late to apply for certain programs and too late for course planning and the whole excuse of certain people not needing to be there last year before ANY deadline, especially course planning is ludicrous to me. How I feel is much different to what the law says. So I can file a complaint, but I want to be educated. I found some info online that may give merit to what I was told about invite vs required. In the situation described above, where NON required personnel are INVITED to attend a meeting, are they able to just not attend without our prior knowledge?
“When assembling an IEP team, a school is required by the regulations that implement the IDEA to include, at a minimum, a regular education teacher of the child, a special education teacher of the child, the parent(s), an agency representative who has the authority to commit resources, someone to explain evaluation results, and, when appropriate, the child. [34 C.F.R. § 300.321] Others are permitted to attend, but are not required, including, “at the discretion of the parent or the [school], other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child, including related services personnel as appropriate.” [34 C.F.R. § 300.321(a)(6)] The Commentary to the federal regulations offers additional guidance: “The public agency determines the specific personnel to fill the roles for the public agency’s required participants at the IEP team meeting. Whether other teachers or service providers who are not the public agency’s required participants at the IEP Team meeting can attend an IEP Team meeting is best addressed by State and local officials.” [34 C.F.R. Part 300, Analysis of Comments and Changes, Subpart D–Evaluation, Eligibility, IEP, Educational Placement, Federal Register, Vol.71, No. 156, p. 46675 (August 2006)]”