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Special Education Law

Special education law regarding IEP for transfer students

On Behalf of | Mar 29, 2024 | IEP |

Any parent or guardian of a child with special education needs who attends a California public school understands the many challenges students and their families often encounter in an academic setting. Thankfully, students with special needs can thrive when their school districts implement an appropriate Individualized Education Program (IEP) for them. But what happens to an IEP if a student changes schools or moves to a new school district? What does special education law say about this? 

There are several possible scenarios relevant to transferring students. A student might switch to a new school within the same school district or Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA). A student might also move to a new school district that is in a different school district or SELPA. It is also possible that a child might transfer to a California public school from another state or vice versa. Special education law covers all bases.  

Special education law requires all public schools to provide a FAPE 

The acronym FAPE stands for “free and appropriate public education,” to which all students are entitled. For a student with special education needs, FAPE includes IEP services when necessary. If a student transfers to a new school that is in the same SELPA as their previous school, the new district must provide IEP services comparable to the services the student has been receiving up to that point. This must continue for 30 days, at which point, the district is required to hold a 30-day IEP meeting to review the offer of FAPE and propose any changes or adjustments as appropriate. No changes can be made to a student’s IEP without consent by a parent or legal guardian. 

When a student with an IEP transfers to a new school district in California, it is important for administrators to obtain their school records as soon as possible. To minimize stress and ensure that a student’s needs are met when transferring to a new school, parents or guardians may seek legal support.