Myths of Special Education


Published: Published: June 23rd, 2016

Do IEPs have to be written by a certified special education teacher?

No. The federal regulations state that it is the IEP team “that is responsible for developing, reviewing, or revising an IEP for a child with a disability.” [34 C.F.R. § 300.23] Each child’s IEP team must include, at a minimum, the parent(s); a regular education teacher of the child; a special education teacher of the child, or when appropriate a special education service provider of the child; an agency representative; someone to explain evaluation results; and, when appropriate, the child. [34 C.F.R. § 300.321] The development of a child’s IEP is a collaborative effort and it is not relevant who actually puts pen to paper and writes/records the IEP document.

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Published: Published: June 23rd, 2016

Do IEP and multidisciplinary evaluation teams (MET) vote when making decisions?

This is neither required nor recommended. In Doe v. Maher, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (of which Arizona is a part) addressed the question of whether, in the IEP team decision-making process, the team is required to follow a “majority rules” type of vote in making decisions. [793 F.2d 1470 (1986)] The court reasoned that a head count did not make sense due to the inconsistent makeup of IEP teams at meetings, and the potential for encouraging parties to “stack the deck.” Thus, schools have a duty to come up with an appropriate plan with the information from the meeting, and provide parents written notice of the final decision and the opportunity for due process if they disagree. [Id.]

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