Your child’s school says they do not have the funding to provide all of the services outlined in your child’s independent education program (IEP). This does not seem right to you. So, what should you do in this situation?
Three steps you can take
It can be stressful to receive a denial, especially when your child depends on these services. In many cases, and especially if schools list funding as a reason for denying services, you should:
- Know your rights: As Understood notes, funding does not play a role in whether or not a school can deny services to your child. It may be true that the school is low on funds. However, they have a responsibility to provide accommodations that meet your child’s needs. Make sure you take time to understand the responsibilities schools have, as well as the rights you and your child have under California and federal laws. For example, if your child received these services up until now, you may be able to enforce “stay put” rules to ensure your child continues to receive this service until you reach a solution with the school.
- Talk to your child’s teacher: The large majority of teachers want to do what they can to help their students succeed. It can help to speak with them to create a strategy for how you can move forward. It often helps to reach out to the whole IEP team as well.
- Speak with an attorney: Even if you have the IEP team on your side, it is still important to address this denial. It can be critical to seek legal guidance to help resolve the dispute with the school and protect your rights effectively.
This can be a difficult issue to address. You want to secure the services your child needs, but school funding is a much larger issue.
Be aware: Funding is a hot-button topic
Funding for education – and particularly funding for special education – is a source of strife for many across the country. For example, the National Education Association (NEA) reports that the federal government is not providing the funds it promises under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to states. Additionally, there are many bills in congress that aim to increase special education funding, but they still have yet to move forward to become law.
While this is a major issue nationwide, it should not prevent your child from receiving the services they need. You have the power to take steps to ensure your child receives a proper education that meets their needs.