California Special Education Law

Advocacy Resources, Hearing & Appeal Decisions, Statistics and More for Parents

Private School Teacher at IEP Meeting

Must the district include my child’s private school teacher at an IEP?

Yes. The 9th Circuit decided a case concerning whether a student’s private school teacher must be included in the IEP. In that case, the student was enrolled in a private school under a grant program for three years because the school district did not have an appropriate program for the student within the district. The parents asked to district to pay for the fourth year of the student’s private school placement. In response, the district offered a newly established district program, which the parents rejected. The district held an IEP concerning the student’s placement, but the student’s private school teacher was not included at the IEP meeting. According to the court, this violated the IDEA. This means that a student’s private school teacher must be included in the IEP meeting where the teacher is the most knowledge about the student’s special education levels and needs.

Shapiro v. Paradise Valley Unified Sch. Dist. No. 69, 317 F.3d 1072 (9th Cir. 2003)