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Parent Rights and Procedural Safeguards

Parents of children with disabilities from ages three through twenty-one have specific educational rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). These rights are called procedural safeguards. Individuals serving as surrogate parents and students aged eighteen receiving special education services, are also entitled to these rights.

A number of staff in the child’s district and special education local plan area (SELPA) may answer questions about the child’s education and the parents' rights and responsibilities. When the parent has a concern, it is important that they contact their child’s teachers or administrators to talk about their child and any problems they see. This conversation often solves the problem and helps maintain open communication.

Parents must be given opportunities to participate in any decision-making meeting regarding their child’s special education program. Parents have the right to participate in individualized education program (IEP) meetings about the special education eligibility, assessment, educational placement of their child and other matters relating to their child’s free appropriate public education (FAPE).

When a parent cannot be identified or located, a district may appoint a surrogate parent to represent a child with a disability.

A complete copy of your Parent Rights (Procedural Safeguards) may be located below (click on the link).

This notice is an abbreviated summary of procedural safeguards under federal and state laws (20 USC Section 1412(d); 34 CFR 300.504; EC sections 56301(d)(2), 56321, and 56341.1(g)(1)). Special Education Rights of Parents and Children, a more extensive description of these rights, is available from the California Department of Education, Special Education Division.