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

Procedural safeguards notice

Section 300.504(a), which incorporates changes in section 615(d)(1) of the Act, requires that a copy of the procedural safeguards notice be given to parents of children with disabilities only once a school year, except that a copy must also be given when an initial evaluation or parent request for an evaluation occurs; the first time a due process hearing is requested during a school year; when the decision to take disciplinary action is made; and when a parent requests the notice. The prior law required that a copy of the procedural safeguards notice be given to the parents upon initial referral for an evaluation, each notification of an IEP Team meeting, each reevaluation of the child, and the registration of each request for a due process hearing. Under the final regulations, a copy of the procedural safeguards notice no longer has to be given to parents with each notice for an IEP Team meeting or every time a request for a due process hearing is received. Instead, the document only has to be given to parents once a year, and the first time a due process hearing is requested in a year, when the decision to take disciplinary action is made, when a copy of the document is specifically requested by a parent, or when an initial evaluation or request for a reevaluation occurs.

To determine the impact of this change, it is necessary to estimate the savings created by providing fewer notices to parents who are notified about more than one IEP Team meeting during the year or who file more than one request for a due process hearing. Given the small number of hearing requests in a year (about 20 per 10,000 children with disabilities), our analysis will focus on the number of parents involved in more than one IEP Team meeting. Although we lack detailed data on the number of IEP Team meetings conducted each year, we estimate that approximately 6.947 million children with disabilities will be served in school year 2006-2007. For the vast majority of these children, we believe there will be only one IEP Team meeting during the year. For purposes of estimating an upper limit on savings, if we assume an average of 1.2 meetings per year per child, 1.39 million children will have two IEP Team meetings each year and the change reflected in Sec. 300.504(a) will result in 1.39 million fewer procedural notices provided to parents. While some people may believe this change represents a significant reduction in paperwork for schools, the actual savings are likely to be minimal given the low cost of producing a notice of this size (about 10 pages) and the small amount of administrative staff time involved in providing this notice to parents (about 10 minutes). Taking all of this into consideration, total savings are unlikely to exceed $5 million.