Parental Consent

Is parental consent necessary before a district can provide special education programs and
services to a child with a disability for the first time?


Yes. Consent for initial evaluation does not constitute consent for initial provision of special education
services (20 USC § 1414(a)(1)(D)(i)(I); 34 CFR § 300.300(a)(1)(ii); 8 NYCRR § 200.5(b)(1)(ii)).


Therefore, a school district must obtain parental consent prior to initially providing special education and
related services to a child who has not previously been identified as having a disability (20 USC §
1414(a)(1)(D)(i)(II); 34 CFR § 300.300(b)(1); 8 NYCRR § 200.5(b)(1)(ii)). Consent is not required for
the initial provision of special education services in a 12-month special service and /or program.
However, if a school district provides special education services to a student for the first time during the
months of July and August and the student has not previously been identified as a having a disability,
consent must be obtained prior to the initial provision of special education services to the student (8
NYCRR § 200.5(b)(1)(ii)).


Unlike when parents refuse to consent to the initial evaluation of a child, a school district
may not initiate due process to override a parent’s refusal to consent to the initial provision of special
education and related services (20 USC § 1414(a)(1)(D)(ii)(II); 34 CFR § 300.300(b)(3); 8 NYCRR §
200.5(b)(4)). Under such circumstances, a district will not be considered in violation of its obligation to
make a free appropriate public education, available to the child as a result of its failure to
provide the child the services for which it requested consent (20 USC § 1414(a)(1)(D)(ii)(III); 34 CFR §
300.300(b)(4); 8 NYCRR § 200.5(b)(4)). Neither does a school district have to apply the disciplinary
protections available to students eligible for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education
Act when a student is not receiving services because of a parent’s refusal to provide consent for the initial
provision of services, or to allow an evaluation of the child (20 USC § 1415(k)(5)(C); 34 CFR §
300.534(c)(1).


Can parents revoke their consent to an initial evaluation, reevaluation or initial provision of
special education programs and services?


Yes. Parental consent is voluntary and may be revoked at any time. However, revocation of the consent
does not negate district actions undertaken after consent was given but before it was revoked (34 CFR §
300.9(c)(2); 8 NYCRR § 200.1(1)(3)).


Can parents revoke consent for the continued provision of special education and related
services after initial services have been provided?


Yes. Consent for continued provision of services may be revoked at any time in writing (34 CFR §§
300.9(c)(1), 300.300(b)(4); 8 NYCRR § 200.5(b)(5)). If this occurs, a school district may not continue to
provide the services nor may it use due process procedures to force continuation of services (34 CFR §
300.300(b)(4)(i), (ii); 8 NYCRR § 200.5(b)(5)(i), (ii)). However, it must provide the parents prior
written notice before actually ceasing the services (8 NYCRR § 200.5(b)(5)(i).


Upon receipt of a written revocation of consent, the district is not required to convene the committee on
special education or develop an individualized education program (see 54:6), for further provision of
services (34 CFR § 300.300(b)(4)(iv); 8 NYCRR § 200.5(b)(5)(iv)). Neither is it required to amend the
student’s education records to remove any references to the child’s receipt of such services (34 CFR §
300.9(c)(3); 8 NYCRR § 200.5(b)(5)(v)).


A district will not be deemed to have violated its duty to provide a free and appropriate public
education (see 54:3) to the student because it ceased providing special education and related services
following receipt of the parent’s written revocation of consent (34 CFR § 300.300(b)(4)(iii); 8 NYCRR §
200.5(b)(5)(iii)).

 

 

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