Undivided: How to use stay put for a student's IEP

Can I keep my child's previous IEP or placement if I disagree with the new one?

Parent Question
Dec. 6, 2022

Your child’s IEP outlines the services and supports that the school or district will provide, including educational programs, placement, related services, and accommodations and modifications they are currently receiving. If you disagree with the school’s offer during an IEP meeting, you can refuse to sign the new IEP, in which case the old IEP still applies, including the goals.

Stay put must be invoked before any changes in the IEP are put into effect. When it comes to implementing an IEP, each state is different. Because California is a dual-consent state, the district cannot implement any new changes to an IEP without parental consent. However, some states can have “stipulations where the IEP goes into effect after a certain number of days unless the family files for due process,” Kelly Rain Collin explains. “Others tend to come back to the IEP table repeatedly until an agreement is achieved or until one party files for due process.” She continues, “If the family disagrees with a portion of the IEP and documents that in the IEP, typically via the notes section, a parent attachment, or on the signature page of the document, then the next steps often depend on the state statutes.”

If you disagree with the proposed changes to the IEP and the school does file for due process, you should hire an attorney and prepare your argument for why your child’s current placement is appropriate.

To learn more, check out our article Stay Put 101.


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