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Guidance on Revocation of Parental Consent for Special Education Services

 

On Dec. 1, 2008, the U.S. Department of Education issued new regulations relating to a parent’s right to revoke consent for the continued provision of special education and related services provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Specifically, 34 CFR §300.300(b)(4) has been revised to require that parental revocation of consent for the continued provision of special education and related services be in writing; and, upon revocation of consent, a public agency must provide the parent with prior written notice in accordance with 34 CFR §300.503. These regulations became effective on Dec. 31, 2008.

Below are questions and answers that provide information regarding the revocation of parental consent.

1.  Who can revoke consent for special education or related services?

2.  How does a parent revoke consent for special education and related services?  

3.  How must a school respond to a parent’s written revocation of consent?

4.  May a school use the mediation and due process procedures to challenge a parent's revocation of consent?

5.  Are there specific timelines from receipt of the written revocation of parental consent in which the school must provide prior written notice?  

6.  May a parent revoke consent to some services and not others?

7.  What are the effects of revoking parental consent for special education and related services regarding discipline?

8.  If a parent revokes consent for special education and related services, does the school have to amend the student's educational record?

9.  If a parent revokes consent for special education and related services, is the student required to retake classes s/he took as a special education student?

10.  After services were discontinued, is a general education teacher still required to provide the accomodations that were listed in the student's previous IEP?

11.  After a parent has revoked consent for special education and related services, is the school relieved of its child find duty with regard to the student?

12.  If a student experiences academic difficulties after services have been discontinued, may the parent request that the school again provide special education and related services under the student's previous IEP?

1.  Who can revoke consent for special education or related services?Back to top

A “parent” (biological, adoptive, foster, surrogate, or legal guardian authorized to make educational decisions) may revoke consent for the continued provision of special education and related services.

When a student reaches the age of 18 (except for a student with a disability who has been determined to be incompetent under State law), all rights previously granted to parents are transferred to the adult student, including the right to revoke consent for the continued provision of special education and related services.

2.  How does a parent revoke consent for special education and related services?Back to top

Consent for the continued provision of special education and related services is voluntary and may be revoked at any time. A parent’s revocation of consent must be provided to the school in writing to serve as documentation of the parent’s request that the student will no longer receive special education and related services.

3.  How must a school respond to a parent’s written revocation of consent?Back to top

Upon receipt of a parent’s written revocation of consent for the continued provision of special education and related services, a school must provide prior written notice, “at least five school days, unless the parents agree otherwise,” 19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §89.1015, and consistent with 34 CFR §300.503 regarding the change in educational placement and services that will result from the revocation of consent. A school cannot discontinue services until prior written notice has been provided.

When an adult student revokes consent for the continued provision of special education and related services, the school must provide prior written notice to both the student and the parents.

4.  May a school use the mediation and due process procedures to challenge a parent’s revocation of consent? Back to top

No. A school may not use the mediation or due process procedures to challenge a parent’s decision to revoke consent for the continued provision of special education and related services.

5.  Are there specific timelines from receipt of the written revocation of parental consent in which the school must provide prior written notice?Back to top

The federal regulations do not set forth a specific timeline for providing a parent with prior written notice. The regulations merely state that prior written notice must be provided a “reasonable time” before discontinuing services. In Texas, “reasonable time” is defined as at least five school day, unless the parents agree otherwise.

6.  May a parent revoke consent to some services and not others?Back to top

No. A parent may not revoke consent for the continuation of some services and not others. The right to revoke consent applies to the provision of all special education and related services. Once a school receives a parent’s written revocation of consent for the continued provision of services and provides the parent with prior written notice, the school must discontinue all special education and related services to the student.

A parent who wishes to discontinue a specific service while keeping others can request an ARD committee meeting to discuss having the service removed from the student’s individualized education program (IEP). If a parent and the other ARD committee members disagree about whether a student needs a specific service, a parent may utilize the dispute resolution processes to resolve the issue.

7.  What are the effects of revoking parental consent for special education and related services regarding discipline?Back to top

If a parent revokes consent for the continued provision of special education and related services, the school is no longer required to make a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) available to the student. The student’s IEP will no longer be in effect, and the student will be treated as a general education student.

The student will be subject to the same disciplinary procedures and timelines applicable to general education students and will no longer be entitled to the IDEA’s disciplinary protections. Districts would not be considered to “have knowledge” of the student’s disability and are not required to determine whether the conduct is a manifestation of the student’s disability before implementing regular discipline. The federal regulations advise parents to consider the possible consequences of disciplinary procedures when making decisions to revoke consent for the continued provision of special education and related services. However, if a parent requests a special education evaluation after revoking consent, the district must implement the provisions regarding an expedited evaluation if the request is related to discipline concerns.

8.  If a parent revokes consent for special education and related services, does the school have to amend the student’s educational record?Back to top

No. The school is not required to amend a student’s educational record to remove any reference to the student’s previous receipt of special education and related services. A parent has the right to inspect and review the student’s educational records and to request amendments to information that is inaccurate or misleading or that violates the privacy or other rights of the student. A parent also has the right to request a hearing to challenge information in education records. This type of hearing is not a special education due process hearing, however.

9.  If a parent revokes consent for special education and related services, is the student required to retake classes s/he took as a special education student?Back to top

No. A student does not have to retake classes when the parent revokes consent. The student is treated the same as a student who was dismissed from special education and is eligible to graduate under the minimum high school diploma plan. If the student wishes to graduate under the recommended or distinguished plan, s/he may have to retake classes to replace V codes on the Academic Achievement Record which indicate a modified curriculum. Regardless, a student whose parent revokes consent for special education and related services will be required to take the regular TAKS exam—no TAKS Accommodated, TAKS Modified, or TAKS Alternate.

10.  After services are discontinued, is a general education teacher still required to provide the accommodations that were listed in the student’s previous IEP?Back to top

No. Once a parent revokes consent in writing and services are discontinued, a general education teacher is not required to provide the accommodations provided in the student’s previous IEP. A general education teacher may, however provide the student with accommodations that are available to other general education students under relevant State standards.

11.  After a parent has revoked consent for special education and related services, is the school relieved of its child find duty with regard to the student?Back to top

No. A parent’s revocation of consent for the continued provision of special education and related services does not lessen a school’s responsibility to identify, locate, and evaluate a student who is suspected of having a disability and being in need of special education and related services. Students who have previously received special education and related services and whose parents have revoked consent for the continued provision of special education and related services should not be treated any differently in the child find process than any other student. It is important to note, however, that a parent who has previously revoked consent for the continued provision of services has the right to refuse to consent to an evaluation to determine current special education eligibility or to the initiation of services.

12.  If a student experiences academic difficulties after services have been discontinued, may the parent request that the school again provide special education and related services under the student’s previous IEP?Back to top

Special education and related services may not merely be reinstated. A parent has the right to request an evaluation to determine if the student is eligible, at that time, for special education and related services. The school will treat this request as a request for an initial evaluation. A new evaluation may not always be required though. The school can consider existing data (e.g., classroom-based, local, or State assessments; teacher and related service provider observations; and parental input) to identify what additional data, if any, are needed to determine whether the student is a student with a disability and the educational needs of the student.

There are no limits on how often a parent may revoke his or her consent and later request an evaluation to determine current special education eligibility.

Division of Federal and State Education Policy 
1701 North Congress Avenue | Austin, Texas 78701-1494
Telephone: 512.463.9414 | Fax: 512.463.9560

Created: May 7, 2009

Page last modified on 9/30/2014 10:21:17 AM.