Stay Put Rights & Special Education Law

Stay Put Rights & Special Education Law

What are “Stay Put” Rights?

Stay Put rights are something every parent whose child is receiving special education services should know about. If you disagree with changes the school wants to make to your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), you can prevent the changes by invoking your child’s stay put rights, which means your child will remain in the then-current educational placement until the dispute is resolved.

Special Education is governed by both State and Federal Law. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the federal law that ensures qualified children with disabilities a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). The IDEA requires that schools give parents written notice before making any change to an IEP. State laws vary as to the length of advance notice, and how to invoke stay put rights.

How to Invoke “Stay Put” Rights in New Jersey

New Jersey State law requires that schools give parents 15 days written notice before making any change to an IEP. Most often, written notice is given at an IEP meeting when the school presents you with a new IEP. Issues often arise when the school proposes to change the placement, or to reduce or eliminate related services. You are deemed to have signed the IEP and agreed to the change unless you file a petition within 15 days. Once the IEP is signed, or deemed signed, the school will implement the changes.

If you do not agree with changes to the IEP, you can take action. You must file a Petition for Mediation or Due Process before the change goes into effect. Usually, the change goes into effect 15 days after you are provided with a new IEP. However, if the proposed changes have not yet been implemented, there may still be time to invoke your child’s stay put rights.

If you need help invoking your child’s “Stay Put” rignts, Lori E. Arons, Esq. is available to help file a Petition for Mediation or Due Process. Contact Lori today by calling 201-388-9533 or by using the Contact Us form.