Excusal of IEP Team Members in Education Settings
Federal regulations require written documentation and parental permission for excusing IEP team members. The team must include specific individuals, and excusals require informed consent and input. Case law illustrates these requirements.
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1. Excusal of IEP Members Clarification
2. Federal News • Excusal Of IEP team members – If a required member of the IEP team will not be in attendance, the district is required to get parents permission. – Case: Baltimore County Public Schools vs. Maryland State Educational Agency • No written documentation of excusal
3. IEP Membership and Excusal The IEP team must include the following: • 1. the parents; • 2. at least one (1) regular education teacher of the student if the student is, or may be, participating in the regular education environment; • 3. at least one (1) special education teacher of the student; • 4. a representative of the public agency who is qualified to provide or supervise the provision of specially designed instruction, is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum, and about the availability of resources of the public agency; • 5. an individual who can interpret the instructional implication of evaluation results; • 6. at the discretion of the parent or public agency , other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the student, including related services personnel, as appropriate; and • 7. when appropriate , the student (34 CFR ? 300.321). Excusal requirements: • The specific members of the IEP team, as described in #2 through 5 above , may be excused from attending an IEP team meeting, in whole or in part, if the parent, in writing, and the public agency consent to the excusal. • However, if the meeting involves a modification to or discussion of the member's area of the curriculum or related services , the public agency must obtain written informed consent from the parent to excuse the member. Additionally, the member must submit in writing to the team input into the development of the IEP prior to the meeting (34 CFR ? 300.321 and Analysis of Comments and Changes, pp. 46673 and 46674).
4. IEP Membership and Excusal • Decisions as to which particular teachers or special education providers are required members of the IEP team are left to the public agency. • A parent may also invite individuals to attend the meeting if the parent believes that those persons have knowledge or special expertise regarding the student. – Therefore there is no legal right to require such individuals to attend the meeting. • However, if a speech pathologist, occupational therapist, or other special education provider, other than the student's special education teacher, is on the IEP team, written consent from the parent would be required for the provider to be excused from attending an IEP team meting, in whole or in part, when the meeting involves a modification or discussion of the team member's related service or area of curriculum (Analysis of Comments and Changes, pp. 46670, 46674, and 46675).
5. Outside Agency and Excusal • Representatives of outside agencies, such as vocational rehab programs, are not required members of the IEP Team. – In the context of transition services , the LEA must, "as appropriate" invite to the meeting a "representative of any participating agency that is likely to be responsible for providing or paying for transition services." The attendance of these outside agency representatives requires consent of the parents or adult student. – Even if the vocational rehab administrator is invited to the meeting, he or she does not thereby become a "required member" of the IEP Team. – The excusal provisions apply only to the universally required members of an IEP Team who are identified in 34 CFR 300.321 or ARSD 24:05:27:01.01
6. Excusal for Non-IEP Members • Invited Agency (Transition Requirement) – Prior permission to invite – Not a required member of an IEP team • Invited guest – No required written excusal – No prior written input is required