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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) now requires that parental revocation of consent for the continued provision of special education and related services be in writing. Upon revocation of consent, a school 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 or adult student revoke consent for special education and related services? 
  3. How must a school respond to a parent’s or adult student’s written revocation of consent? 
  4. May a school use the mediation and due process procedures to challenge a revocation of consent? 
  5. Are there specific timelines from receipt of the written revocation of consent in which the school must provide prior written notice?  
  6. May a parent or adult student revoke consent for some services and not others? 
  7. What are the effects on student discipline of revoking consent for special education and related services? 
  8. If a parent or adult student revokes consent for special education and related services, does the school have to amend the student's education record? 
  9. If a parent or adult student revokes consent for special education and related services, must a student retake classes the student took when eligible for special education? 
  10. After services end, must a teacher still provide the accommodations that were in the student's previous individualized education program (IEP)? 
  11. After a parent or adult student 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 or adult student 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?

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 whom a court has determined to be incompetent under state law), all rights previously granted to parents transfer 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 or adult student revoke consent for special education and related services?

Consent for the continued provision of special education and related services is voluntary, and a parent or adult student may revoke consent at any time. The parent or adult student must provide the school with a written revocation of consent in order for a student to no longer receive special education and related services.  

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

Upon receipt of a parent’s written revocation of consent for the continued provision of special education and related services, a school must provide the parent or adult student with prior written notice regarding the change in educational placement and services that will result from the revocation of consent. A school cannot discontinue services until it has given the parent or adult student prior written notice. 

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 revocation of consent? 

No. A school may not use the mediation or due process procedures to challenge a 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 consent in which the school must provide prior written notice?  

The federal regulations do not set forth a specific timeline for providing a parent or adult student with prior written notice. The regulations merely state that the school must provide the parent or adult student with prior written notice a “reasonable time” before discontinuing services. In Texas, rule defines “reasonable time” as at least five school days unless the parent or adult student agrees otherwise. 

6. May a parent or adult student revoke consent for some services and not others? 

No. A parent or adult student 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 written revocation of consent for the continued provision of services and provides prior written notice, the school must discontinue the provision of all special education and related services to the student.

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

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

If a parent or adult student revokes consent for the continued provision of special education and related services, nothing requires the school to make a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) available to the student. A student’s individualized education program (IEP) will no longer be in effect, and the school will treat the student as any other student in general education.

A student will be subject to the same disciplinary procedures and timelines applicable to all other students in general education and will no longer be entitled to the IDEA’s disciplinary protections. The school would not “have knowledge” of a student’s disability, and nothing would require the school to determine whether a student’s conduct is a manifestation of a disability before implementing regular discipline. Parents and adult students must 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 or adult student requests a special education evaluation after revoking consent, the district must implement the provisions regarding an expedited evaluation if the request relates to discipline concerns. 

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

No. IDEA does not require that the school amend a student’s education record to remove any reference to a student’s previous receipt of special education and related services. A parent has the right to inspect and review their student’s education 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. However, this type of hearing is not a special education due process hearing. 

9. If a parent or adult student revokes consent for special education and related services, must a student retake classes the student took when eligible for special education? 

No. Students does not have to retake classes when the parent or adult student revokes consent. Students who have had their services revoked are the same as students whose ARD committees dismissed them from special education. They are eligible to graduate under the applicable high school diploma plan. If they wish to graduate under a different plan, they may have to retake classes to replace “V” codes on the Academic Achievement Record. Regardless, students whose parents revoke consent for special education and related services must take the regular state assessment.

10. After services end, must a teacher still provide the accommodations that were in the student’s previous IEP?

No. Once a parent or adult student revokes consent in writing and services end, nothing requires a school to provide the accommodations from a student’s previous IEP.  However, a teacher may provide a student with accommodations that are available to other students in general education under relevant state standards. 

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

No. A 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 whom it suspects of having a disability and having a need for special education and related services. Students who previously received special education and related services and whose parents revoked consent for the continued provision of special education and related services are not any different in the child find process than any other student. It is important to note, however, that a parent who 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 or adult student request that the school again provide special education and related services under the student’s previous IEP?

The school may not merely reinstate special education and related services. A parent or adult student has the right to request an evaluation to determine if a student is eligible, for special education and related services. The school treats this request as a request for an initial evaluation. A new evaluation may not always be necessary. The school considers existing data (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 a student is a student with a disability and to determine the student's educational needs. There are no limits on how often a parent or adult student may revoke the student's consent and later request an evaluation to determine current special education eligibility. 

Page last modified on 10/7/2014 05:43:20 PM.