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Success in the Regular Education Experience is Everyone's Goal

Taken from Reed's manual:
Getting Your Child's Regular Education Teachers To Do What The Law Requires Them To Be Doing For Your Child


Congress made very clear in the 1997 IDEA Amendments that we must involve the regular ed teacher at the IEP meeting, and that we must focus in that meeting on how this one student will meet the regular ed goals expected of every student, and how they will have access to regular education curriculum, access to regular extracurricular programs, and access to regular non-academic activities.

The IDEA statute, at 20 U.S.C. 1414(d)(1)(B)(ii), the IDEA Regulations, at 34 C.F.R. 300.344(a)(2), and the extensive discussion in Appendix A of the IDEA Regulations at Questions and Answers 23, 24, 25 and 26, all make clear that regular education teachers are the primary instructional personnel who must be at the IEP meeting.

Further, the IEP will direct all the regular education teachers who will interact with this student as to what they are to do. "Each regular education teacher....is informed of his or her specific responsibilities related to implementing the IEP, and of the specific accommodations, modifications and supports that must be provided to the child in accordance with the IEP." (See App. A, Q&A 23).  

We receive many emails stating that the regular education teacher is not a part of their child's IEP meeting and/or the regular education teachers are not provided with a copy of their child's IEP to implement the modifications and accommodations.

If you discover your IEP is not being implemented as written, in addition to a state complaint, you should also request a new IEP meeting. You could list in your need for a new IEP meeting exactly who the personnel are that are supposed to be carrying out the IEP and exactly what they are not doing.

Appendix A, Q&A 20, provides "The parents of a child with a disability have the right to request an IEP meeting at any time... There should be as many meetings a year as any one child may need...." You should also specify in your request for an IEP meeting, by name, the personnel that have to be there to be told, in writing on the IEP, what they are required to do to implement your IEP.

Appendix A. Q&A 23 requires:

23. For a child with a disability being considered for initial provision of special education and related services, which teacher or teachers should attend the IEP meeting?
A child's IEP team must include at least one of the child's regular education teachers (if the child is, or may be participating in the regular education environment) and at least one of the child's special education teachers, or, if appropriate, at least one of the child's special education providers (Sec. 300.344(a)(2) and (3)). Each IEP must include a statement of the present levels of educational performance, including a statement of how the child's disability affects the child's involvement and progress in the general curriculum (Sec. 300.347(a)(1)). At least one regular education teacher is a required member of the IEP team of a child who is, or may be, participating in the regular educational environment, regardless of the extent of that participation. The requirements of Sec. 300.344(a)(3) can be met by either: (1) a special education teacher of the child; or (2) another special education provider of the child, such as a speech pathologist, physical or occupational therapist, etc., if the related service consists of specially designed instruction and is considered special education under applicable State standards. Sometimes more than one meeting is necessary in order to finalize a child's IEP. In this process, if the special education teacher or special education provider who will be working with the child is identified, it would be useful to have that teacher or provider participate in the meeting with the parents and other members of the IEP team in finalizing the IEP. If this is not possible, the public agency must ensure that the teacher or provider has access to the child's IEP as soon as possible after it is finalized and before beginning to work with the child. Further, (consistent with Sec. 300.342(b)), the public agency must ensure that each regular education teacher, special education teacher, related services provider and other service provider of an eligible child under this part (i) has access to the child's IEP, and (2) is informed of his or her specific responsibilities related to implementing the IEP, and of the specific accommodations, modifications, and supports that must be provided to the child in accordance with the IEP. This requirement is crucial to ensuring that each child receives FAPE in accordance with his or her IEP, and that the IEP is appropriately and effectively implemented.


This information is educational and not intended to be legal advice.

Reed Martin is an attorney with 33 years experience in special education law. He can be reached through email at [email protected] or www.reedmartin.com

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