7 Most Common Legal Errors for Special Educators to Avoid in the Transition Planning Process
The rise of transition planning-related legal action
In other words students and parents can now file cases without going through all the usual administrative processes, meaning a further increase in legal actions may be coming in the future.
In addition to a general rise in litigation in special education, Dr. Hulett also notes “a spike in transition planning-related state complaints, IEP due process filings, and litigation.” This surge in legal challenges raises significant red flags and underscores the critical importance of understanding and adhering to the legal requirements surrounding this crucial phase of a student’s educational journey.
Drawing on his extensive experience working with teachers and districts across the country, Dr. Hulett has prepared a list of the seven most common errors made by educators that lead to FAPE violations specific to transition planning.
7 Widespread legal errors to avoid during IEP transition planning
1. Insufficient parent involvement
2. Lack of appropriate assessments
3. Failure to develop measurable post-secondary goals
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4. Inadequate transition services and supports
5. Insufficient documentation
6. Lack of timeliness and monitoring
7. Noncompliance with legal requirements
More about legal issues in the IEP transition planning process
Three key legal concepts related to an Individualized Education Program (IEP) are:
- Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)
- Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)
- Procedural Safeguard
Federal IEP regulations stipulate, among other things, that parents must be involved in the transition planning process along with educators, and that a clear roadmap must be created including SMART goals for each child and IEP.
A substantive violation of IEP occurs if services are inadequate for Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) requirements. Examples include insufficient assessments, unclear annual goals, and not ensuring a Least Restrictive Environment (LRE).