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Special Education and Open Enrollment

Must the sending district be involved in a child’s IEP team and placement team decisions?

Answer: 

Yes. The sending district, because it is responsible for the actual cost of the child’s special education. Rule 17.11. Special education law requires that IEP teams include a representative with knowledge of and the authority to commit district resources.

Can a parent demand that the receiving district create an appropriate program for an open-enrolled student with an IEP?

Answer: 

No. A public school district must maintain and have available a continuum of alternate placements (Special Education Rule 41.115); however, the law does not require that the district have all points on the continuum available within district buildings.

If transportation is part of a student’s IEP, must the receiving district provide transportation for a special education student?

Answer: 

If transportation is a related service on a child’s IEP and the child’s parents open enroll the child to another district, the parents waive transportation as a related service. Districts may elect to provide it, but are not required to provide it. Special Education Rule 41.412(6).

Can the receiving district make a decision to place a student with an IEP in a special education program in another district?

Answer: 

Yes, if the receiving district’s program is not appropriate. If a placement is made into another district, open enrollment continues with the receiving district contracting with the new placement and billing actual costs to the sending district.

Can a receiving district terminate open enrollment if the district cannot provide appropriate programming for a student?

Answer: 

While a receiving district can deny open enrollment if it asserts it does not have an appropriate program (subject to procedural protections in Rule 17.11); it cannot terminate open enrollment if it determines it does not have an appropriate placement.

Can a receiving district terminate open enrollment of a student newly staffed into a special education program?

Answer: 

A receiving district cannot unilaterally terminate the open enrollment of a special education student, or any other student. Open enrollment only terminates under the circumstances listed in rule 17.8(10).

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Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on March 03, 2015 at 5:37am.