Understanding your rights to access your child’s IEP records

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2024 | Education Law |

Navigating the world of special education can be complex and overwhelming for many parents. One crucial aspect of this journey is understanding your rights regarding your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) records. 

These records are essential in ensuring your child receives the appropriate support and services at school. 

What is an IEP?

An IEP, or Individualized Education Program, is a legally binding document for public school children needing special education. It outlines specific educational goals for the student, the services the school will provide, and how progress will be measured. It’s a collaborative effort involving parents, teachers, school administrators and other relevant professionals.

Your right to access IEP records

As a parent, you have the unequivocal right to access your child’s IEP records. This right is protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). These laws ensure that you can review your child’s educational records, including their IEP.

How to request IEP records

To obtain your child’s IEP records, you should submit a written request to the school. While schools generally have up to 45 days to comply, many respond more quickly. Your request should clearly state that you seek access to your child’s IEP records under FERPA and IDEA. Be sure to keep a copy of your request for your records.

Understanding and exercising your right to access your child’s IEP records is crucial in advocating for their educational success. By staying informed and engaged, you can ensure your child receives the support they need to thrive academically and personally. If you encounter any difficulties accessing these records, consider contacting a special education advocate or attorney for assistance.