IEP Parental Consent: Make sure you are satisfied with the terms BEFORE you sign.

In any context – the general rule of thumb to never sign anything until you are certain you agree is a good rule to follow.

This concept also holds true for your child’s Individual Education Program (IEP) just as it would for anything else. Before any changes to the IEP can become effective the parent or guardian must sign the IEP thereby giving the parent’s consent to the IEP. This makes your consent a requirement for any and all modifications to your child’s IEP. Because it is a requirement in order to change the IEP schools more often than not will push for the parent or guardian to sign the modified IEP at the meeting in order to be able to implement it immediately. While this may be exactly what you want, remember that you are completely within your rights to initially refuse to consent to the purposed IEP in order to consider the proposed changes and to obtain any second opinions you may want to pursue.

If you are not completely satisfied with the modified plan, do not let the school try to pressure you. As the parent you have the right to not consent until you are satisfied with the IEP.

While you are obtaining a second opinion the school must continue to operate under the previously agreed upon IEP. This proves especially important if there is a proposal to remove a service that your child was previously receiving, as the school needs the parent’s affirmative consent to discontinue any service. Therefore – while you seek other opinions – your child will continue to receive all of the services they were previously receiving until you agree to the modification.

If after reviewing the IEP you wish for it to be implemented you can contact the school and inform them you are ready to sign it. They will either have you come in to sign it, or will have you sign it and send it to them. On the other side, if you do not wish to implement it you should contact the school to request another IEP meeting to discuss the problems you have with the document or their proposed changes.

IEPs can be very complicated documents, and they are without a shadow of a doubt an incredibly important document for the education of your child. Because of these two factors it is in your child’s best interest to ensure any purposed changes to the IEP are indeed what is going to benefit your child and ensure the school is providing the services and accommodations, as well as working towards the goals in the IEP.

If you would like to schedule an initial consultation to review your child’s IEP or education law needs please feel free to contact us at 804-423-1382 or email us at to set up the consultation with one of our attorneys.  We would like to help.