California Special Education Law

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

Transfer to a New District

What happens when my child transfers to a new district?

A district must provide a 30-day interim placement and offer a permanent placement before that 30-day placement expires. In the case of one student with a speech and language disorder, the district provided a 30-day interim placement when he transferred into the district. The district, however, delayed in convening an initial IEP meeting and did not provide the student with a new, permanent placement before the 30-day interim placement expired. The court found the delay to be a violation of the IDEA and ordered the district to reimburse the parents. Based on this case, when a student transfers into a district he must receive a 30-day interim placement, and the district must convene the IEP team and make a program recommendation before the interim placement expires.

Escondido Union High Sch. Dist,. 37 IDELR 269 (SEA CA 2002)

The interim placement, however, does not have to be identical to the student’s prior placement. In one case, the district offered a 30-day interim placement that was not identical to the student’s placement in the old district. The court found that the new placement was similar enough to the old placement that there was no IDEA violation, especially since the prior program was unique and the district needed time to conduct its own assessments. This means that when a student transfers districts the new district does have an obligation to implement the student’s last IEP, but it does not require the new placement to exactly replicate the prior placement.

Mrs. S. ex rel G. v. Vashon Island Sch. Dist. 337 F.3d 1115 (9th Cir. 2003)