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U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans

IEP Team attendance

Section 300.321(e)(1) permits certain members of the IEP Team to be excused from attending an IEP Team meeting, in whole or in part, if the parent of the child with a disability and the public agency agree in writing that the member's attendance is not necessary because the member's area of the curriculum or related services is not being modified or discussed. The previous regulations required that all IEP Team meetings include the parents of the child, at least one regular education teacher (if the child is, or may be, participating in the regular education environment), at least one special education teacher, a representative of the public agency, and someone who could interpret the instructional implications of the evaluation results (who may be one of the other required IEP Team members). The extent to which public agencies will realize savings from the final regulations depends on which team members are excused from how much of the meeting. If the average IEP Team meeting lasts 1.5 hours and requires a half an hour of teacher preparation, then we estimate that the opportunity costs for a teacher of attending a meeting (based on average compensation per hour of $48) would be $96. If we assume an average of 1.2 IEP Team meetings are held for each of the 6.947 million children with disabilities, then 8.34 million IEP Team meetings will be held in 2006-2007. If one teacher could be excused from five percent of these meetings, the final regulation could result in savings of $40 million.

These savings will be partially offset by increased administrative costs associated with obtaining written consent from parents and public agency staff. Based on the above estimate of the cost of obtaining consent from parents under Sec. 300.303(b)(2), the Department estimates that the cost to public agencies of obtaining written consent from these parents would be $9.1 million, resulting in net savings to public agencies from the final regulations of $30.9 million.

Section 300.321(e)(2) permits certain members of an IEP Team to be excused from attending an IEP Team meeting that involves a modification to or discussion of the member's area of the curriculum or related service if the parent and the public agency consent in writing to the excusal and the member submits written input to the parent and the other members of the IEP Team prior to the meeting. The change is unlikely to generate notable savings because reduced time spent in meetings is likely to be offset by the time required to draft written input, send it to the parents and other IEP Team members, and secure the consent of parents and public agency to the excusal. In cases in which IEP Team meetings take longer than the average time of 1.5 hours, there are likely to be controversial issues or significant modifications to the IEP under discussion. Parents are presumably less likely to consent to the excusal of team members in these instances.