As a parent of a special needs child, you may have avoided disputing an Individualized Educational Plan simply because you were concerned that your child would no longer receive appropriate educational resources. However, there is a part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act called “Stay Put” that can protect you in the case of an IEP dispute.
When you use “Stay Put,” your special education child will be able to continue in his special education classroom and will be able to continue using special education resources through the school district while the dispute is solved. While you may think that you would never need to use this special provision, hard disputes can often come up when you least expect them. For example, the district may want to make a change to the IEP with which you heartily disagree. Although many school districts work quickly to resolve disagreements, your school district may not make appropriate changes because it is strapped monetarily or does not feel that it has the resources needed to follow the IEP.
Once “Stay Put” is in effect, you will want to work quickly to resolve the dispute. Set up a time to meet with school district officials or teachers. Bring written documentation or even independent evaluations to your meetings to uphold your points. In many cases, you may benefit from working with a special education attorney who will be able to speak for you and work on your behalf. Our attorneys at Newman Aaronson Vanaman have years of experience in settling IEP disputes between families and school districts.