Parents of children who have an IEP or who have a Section 504 Plan often find that the school districts are not actually following what is agreed to in the plans. They’re not implementing all of the rights that the child has obtained through the negotiating process. There are several steps that parents can take.
At the earliest stages, the parents can always call for an IEP meeting or Section 504 Plan meeting. There is no limit in the law to how many such meetings you can have over the course of the school year. The district is required to have one a year but you can always call for more. At the same time as you’re calling for these meetings, you can notify all the people involved. Meaning you have to notify, in writing, the people involved with the disability and also the school administrator, such as the Principal and even the Superintendent. Email makes it very easy to notify everybody in one shot.
If the meetings are unsuccessful, you have a right to go to what they call due process, which means you can file with the state Department of Education, which will ultimately, if not resolved through mediation or settlement, lead to a trial. These IEP and 504 Plans are contracts; you have a right to enforce them, and the courts will enforce them.
You can get remedies ranging from a simple order of enforcement requiring the district to do what they had promised to do. You can get compensatory education, which is a remedy to make up for services that were missed. You can get reimbursement for evaluations. You can get reimbursement for tuition at private schools, and if you prevail in the action, you can get your attorney’s fees paid for.
If you’re having trouble with the district, you should contact somebody who’s knowledgeable about the process to be able to enforce your child’s rights.
The law firm of Mattleman, Weinroth & Miller, P.C., is composed of experienced education attorneys throughout the states of New Jersey and Delaware. Please contact the office for a free initial consultation and get any questions answered regarding your specific case.