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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?


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?


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?


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?


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?


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?


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 November 29, 2015 at 9:05am.