Did you know that IDEA 2004 states that a child has the right to a stay put placement, until due process hearings are finished or resolved? This article will discuss what stay put placements are during due process hearings.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) states under 300.518 that: during the pendency of any administrative or judicial proceeding regarding a due process complaint notice. . . the child involved in the complaint must remain in his or her current educational placement. What this means is that if your child is in a placement, and you file for a due process hearing, the child stays in that placement until the due process is settled or resolved.
For Example: Your child with autism is attending a private school at public expense. The school district recommends changing your child's placement to a school district program, which you think is inappropriate to meet your child's needs. If you file for a due process hearing, your child would stay in the private school until your due process was resolved or finished. The last agreed upon placement is considered stay put!
Several issues on stay put:
1. The child's stay put placement and the child's IEP must be completely implemented (this means special education and related services also).
2. Stay put applies from the time the parent files for a due process hearing.
3. The school district is basically maintaining the status quo.
4. The school district is prevented from unilaterally changing your child's placement. Parents must be a part of any decision to change placement.
5. School districts can change personnel but the services must be comparable.
6. Parents may agree to change the child's placement during the due process if they feel that the current placement is inappropriate.
By understanding stay put for special education due process hearings, you will be able to determine what advocacy route that you would like to take, for your child. Filing for a due process hearing and revoking stay put can keep your child in an appropriate placement for a certain period of time. You would then have to prove to a hearing officer that the current placement meets your child's educational needs, and that the placement needs to be continued.
Reference: JoAnn Collins is the mother of two adults with disabilities, and has helped families navigate the special education system, as an advocate, for over 15 years. She is a presenter and author of the book "Disability Deception; Lies Disability Educators Tell and How Parents Can Beat Them at Their Own Game." The book has a lot of resources and information to help parents fight for an appropriate education for their child. For more information on the book, testimonials about the book, and a link to more articles go to: www.disabilitydeception.com