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Friday, February 6, 2009

SRO says that amendments to IEP can be oral

SRO 08-129: This is a case that on the surface is addressing reimbursement for the expenses associated with a cheerleading program. The district had agreed to assume responsibility for the costs of the program, but the specifics were not incorporated into the IEP. The SRO, in this case Robert Bentley, held for the parent reasoning that

In making changes to a student's IEP after the annual IEP
meeting for a school year, the parent and the district may agree not to convene a CSE meeting for the purposes of making such changes, and instead may develop a written document to amend or modify the student's current IEP (20 U.S.C. § 1414 [d][3][D]). Similarly, changes to the student's IEP may be made by either the entire CSE or as provided above by amending the IEP (20 U.S.C. § 1414 [d][3][F]). The Official Analysis of Comments to the revised IDEA regulations indicates that an agreement to change a student's IEP need not be in writing in order to be binding:

[T]he Act does not require the agreement between the parent and
the public agency to be in writing . . . However, it would be
prudent for the public agency to document the terms of the
agreement in writing, in the event that questions arise at a later

Agreement, 71 Fed. Reg. 46685 (Aug. 14, 2006).

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