The new regulations were released Monday and will go into effect Dec. 31. Among the changes:
*Parents have the right to unilaterally stop their child from receiving special education services after those services have begun, if they make a request in writing.
*Non-lawyer advocates can represent either side in a due process hearing UNLESS there’s a state law to the contrary. The Education Department specifically referenced a 2000 Delaware Supreme Court case, In re Arons, that was brought by a group of lawyers against Marilyn Arons, a parent advocate. The Delaware high court decided that, though the IDEA allows parents to have expert counsel with them during a hearing, it did not override the state law that prevents non-lawyers from providing the equivalent of legal assistance.
*School districts now have a year from the time they discover a problem to fix any IDEA noncompliance issues. There was no specific timeline in the regulations before.
My article about these changes will be in Education Week Dec. 10. I’ll update this post with the link when the story is available online.
A version of this news article first appeared in the On Special Education blog.