Does having an IEP give me any rights?

Yes, if you have an IEP then parents and children have specific rights. These are called procedural safeguards and you are given a copy of them when your child may be evaluated. These give you rights during the evaluation process, placement in special education, and rights if you don’t agree with the school district’s decision or meeting outcome.

According to the website http://idea.ed.gov, the procedural safeguards notice must include a full explanation of all of the procedural safeguards that relate to (among other things):

* The opportunity to present and resolve complaints through the due process complaint and State complaint procedures, including:
o The time period in which to file a complaint;
o The opportunity for the agency to resolve the complaint; and
o The difference between the due process complaint and the State complaint procedures, including the jurisdiction of each procedure, what issues may be raised, filing and decisional timelines, and relevant procedures;
* The availability of mediation;
* and Civil actions, including the time period in which to file those actions. [34 CFR 300.504(c)] [20 U.S.C. 1415(d)(2)]

Additionally, procedural safeguards require parents to give consent before their child is evaluated as well as before any special education services can be provided. According to the website http://idea.ed.gov.

Initial evaluation and initial provision of services: The public agency proposing to conduct an initial evaluation to determine if a child qualifies as a child with a disability under 34 CFR 300.8 must, after providing notice consistent with 34 CFR 300.503 and 300.504, obtain informed consent, consistent with 34 CFR 300.9, from the parent of the child before conducting the evaluation. [34 CFR 300.300(a)(1)(i)] [20 U.S.C. 1414(a)(1)(D)(i)(I)]

A public agency that is responsible for making FAPE available to a child with a disability must obtain informed consent from the parent of the child before the initial provision of special education and related services to the child. [34 CFR 300.300(b)(1)] [20 U.S.C. 1414(a)(1)(D)(i)(II)]

The public agency must make reasonable efforts to obtain the informed consent from the parent for an initial evaluation to determine whether the child is a child with a disability and for the initial provision of special education and related services to the child. Parental consent for initial evaluation must not be construed as consent for initial provision of special education and related services.