Clarification on advance submission of parent concerns for IEP team meetings

The U.S. Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) was recently asked to review one of Maine’s school administrative unit’s (SAU’s) policies that required parents to submit parent-obtained evaluations and written statements of parent concerns at least three days prior to an Individualized Education Program (IEP) team meeting in order for them to be considered at the meeting.

OSEP has determined that the policy, with respect to requiring submission of parent-obtained evaluations in advance of meetings, is consistent with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. However, the policy, with respect to requiring advance submission of written statements of parent concerns, is not.

If your SAU has a policy for requiring advance submission of written statements of parent concerns, that policy must be amended to remove that requirement. OSEP does recognize that when parents submit a lengthy statement at an IEP team meeting, it would be reasonable for the SAU to ask parents to verbally summarize their main concerns. OSEP also recognizes that when parents seek a more comprehensive response, the SAU may take a reasonable time to respond.

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