Bureaucracy and IEP Compliance

by Tera Tuten on October 14, 2014

iep-compliance-schoolsWhen an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is written, parents expect that the services for their children will be carried out by professionals for their children. Teachers also expect supports to be there to assist their students during classroom time. Of course, sometimes the school year begins and services that were set up within the IEP do not surface in a timely manner.

Noncompliance is something that many districts and private schools have to contend with and it is a serious topic. Families often find out that mandated services are not being given to their child. It could be resource room, a session with an occupational therapist, or a paraprofessional. No matter what it is, if it is not being provided consistently, parents are often aware that they need to advocate in order for these requirements to be followed. Families may need to document what has not been given to their children to escalate the severity of the problem.

Legally Binding Documents

Following an IEP is a requirement for teachers, providers, and others within the school community. At the start of each year, all teachers should be given information about students that they will be working with that have an IEP. They must read through these documents and be sure to understand how they will make adaptations. Each teacher is responsible for following every child’s IEP within their classroom.

Sometimes not being compliant may have happened due to changes in policy within a school, personnel difficulties, or omissions within the IEP. Services can slip through the cracks, and all those within the special education department must be aware of what the IEP for each student they work with indicates.

Problems Beyond the Schools

What happens if the tie up of services comes from higher up? Several hundred special education students in New York City were waiting several weeks into the school year for their special education services. Angry parents contacted the Department of Education that was holding back tutoring, physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and other related services without a time on when they would be instated.

As budget cuts and red tape cause more issues within the educational world, the special education departments within schools and districts must look at how they will handle these instances. If services are provided by an outside source, they must find out who is legally responsible if and when IEP noncompliance happens. Parents should not find out from others, and schools need to be upfront about the predicament and how they are going to work on fixing them.


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