PROCEDURAL SAFEGUARDS: SURROGATE PARENTS, NOTICE AND PARENTAL CONSENT - Regulations

5. Specify that parental consent is required prior to an initial evaluation, the initial provision of services, and a reevaluation.

Initial evaluation and initial provision of services:
The public agency proposing to conduct an initial evaluation to determine if a child qualifies as a child with a disability under 34 CFR 300.8 must, after providing notice consistent with 34 CFR 300.503 and 300.504, obtain informed consent, consistent with 34 CFR 300.9, from the parent of the child before conducting the evaluation.
[34 CFR 300.300(a)(1)(i)] [20 U.S.C. 1414(a)(1)(D)(i)(I)]

A public agency that is responsible for making FAPE available to a child with a disability must obtain informed consent from the parent of the child before the initial provision of special education and related services to the child.
[34 CFR 300.300(b)(1)] [20 U.S.C. 1414(a)(1)(D)(i)(II)]

The public agency must make reasonable efforts to obtain the informed consent from the parent for an initial evaluation to determine whether the child is a child with a disability and for the initial provision of special education and related services to the child. Parental consent for initial evaluation must not be construed as consent for initial provision of special education and related services.
[34 CFR 300.300(a)(1)(ii)-(iii) and (b)(2)] [20 U.S.C. 1414(a)(1)(D)(i)(I)]

Reevaluation:
Except as set out below, the public agency must obtain informed parental consent prior to conducting any reevaluation of a child with a disability, in accordance with 34 CFR 300.300(a)(1) (i.e., after providing notice consistent with 34 CFR 300.503 and 300.504 and the parental consent must be consistent with 34 CFR 300.9).

The informed parental consent for reevaluations need not be obtained if the public agency can demonstrate that:
  • It made reasonable efforts to obtain such consent; and

  • The child’s parent has failed to respond.

[34 CFR 300.300(c)(1)(i) and (2)] [20 U.S.C. 1414(a)(1)(D)(i)(II)]

Reasonable efforts:
To meet the reasonable efforts requirements regarding efforts to get parental consent for initial evaluation, initial provision of services and reevaluation, the public agency must document its attempts to obtain parental consent by methods such as:
  • Detailed records of phone calls made or attempted and the results of those calls;
  • Copies of correspondence sent to the parents and any responses received; and
  • Detailed records of visits made to the parent’s home or place of employment and the results of those visits.
[34 CFR 300.300(d)(5)]

Dialogue Starter - Cross-stakeholder

Reaction Questions

Application Questions

  1. How will LEA staff ensure that parents are adequately informed of their consent options?


  2. What efforts can a district take to make sure a parent understands the actions for which the district is seeking the parent’s consent?

    These questions were developed by the following stakeholders working together:

    Role: Teacher
    Location: West Virginia

    Role: Family Member
    Location: New Jersey

    Role: General Education Administrator
    Location: California

    Role: Higher Education
    Location: Indiana

    Role: Administrator
    Location: Illinois

    Role: Special Education Administrator
    Location: Kentucky