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IDEA 2004 - Special Education Rights for Parents

by Mandy Plog

December 05, 2005

IDEA 2004


The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004) was reauthorized in 2004 and signed into law by President Bush on December 3, 2004. Most provisions of the law take effect on July 1, 2005. There are many good sites on the internet that discuss the changes that will occur due to the new law. One good site for parents is WrightsLaw http://www.wrightslaw.com/idea/.


One change that will have an immediate impact is the new requirement that parental rights booklet will only be given one time per year, except for certain circumstances. We will be mailing out the parental rights to the parents of every special education student in our district shortly after we return from Christmas break. After that, we will be mailing the booklet home at the beginning of each new school year. You will still need to sign at each IEP meeting that you have received the parental rights, but won't need to have multiple copies offered to you throughout the year. This change is explained in more detail below.


Procedural safeguards notice (Parental Rights Booklet)


One change included with the new IDEA reauthorization is the requirement that we give the parental rights at every IEP and MDT. The procedural safeguards notice now will be distributed only once a year except upon initial referral, when a parent makes a request for an evaluation, when a due process complaint has been filed, or if a parent requests a copy. The notice will no longer be automatically given with the IEP team notice or upon reevaluation. If parents would like an additional copy of the parental rights booklet, please ask. We will be happy to provide you an additional copy.


Another change that could affect parents is the new statue of limitations. In the past, the statue of limitations was not clearly explained in the law, now language states that there is a two year window in which to excersize due process rights. I am happy to say that since I have worked at Hemingford Public Schools, there have been no formal due process proceedings in our special education department. The new language is explained in more detail below.


Statute of limitations


Parents now have two years in which to exercise their due process rights after they knew or should have known that an IDEA violation has occurred. The interpretation of the language "should have known" has not been totally clarified yet.


There are many other changes in IDEA 2004, and I invite you to research these changes further. The Nebraska Parent Center (PTI) has much information and you can also call them toll free if you have any questions concerning special education. All staff members at the center are parents of children with disabilities. 1-800-284-8520. They are very knowledgeable and understanding of special education issues.


Thanks for all your support. I always say we have the best students and parents at Hemingford Public Schools. If you have any questions concerning the new law, please contact Mandy Plog, Special Education Director, 487-3330 at Hemingford Public Schools or email me at mplog@panesu.org

 Click here to email me with any questions!

Mandy Plog

Special Education Director

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