The federal regulations for IDEA 2004 include a section (Subpart E) called Procedural Safeguards. These safeguards are designed to protect the rights of parents and their child with a disability and, at the same time, give families and school systems several mechanisms by which to resolve their disputes.
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The most notable procedural safeguards include those listed below:
The right of parents to receive a complete explanation of all the procedural safeguards available under IDEA and the procedures in the state for presenting complaints
Confidentiality and the right of parents to inspect and review the educational records of their child
The right of parents to participate in meetings related to the identification, evaluation, and placement of their child, and the provision of FAPE (a free appropriate public education) to their child
The right of parents to obtain an independent educational evaluation (IEE) of their child
The right of parents to receive “prior written notice” on matters relating to the identification, evaluation, or placement of their child, and the provision of FAPE to their child
The right of parents to give or deny their consent before the school may take certain action with respect to their child
The right of parents to disagree with decisions made by the school system on those issues
The right of parents and schools to use IDEA’s mechanisms for resolving disputes, including the right to appeal determinations
These are not the only procedural safeguards under IDEA, but they are the most relevant to the majority of parents.