Fighting for your child’s right to an equal and fair education is important. As a parent and advocate for the appropriateness of your child’s education plan, you have the right to argue that what is being recommended is not sufficient for their needs.
Sometimes, when these disputes arise, the process can take time and a fair amount of meetings, and even lengthy hearing days to get to a resolution.
The bottom line is that even while you wait on these hearings or meetings to be scheduled, your child may be entitled to “pendency” or “stay put” services.
Pendency in IDEA
As it relates to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Pendency is a way to prevent any disruptions in your child’s current education if a disagreement in an IEP occurs.
If you have filed for an impartial hearing to complain about the recommendations made in an IEP, then Pendency protects your child while the final outcome is still pending. They will still have access to the education plan they had from the previously agreed upon arrangement with the district during this time.
This “last agreed upon” IEP will remain in effect until a settlement agreement is arrived or a final decision is reached after litigation.
Why Pendency is Important
A few key things to remember about Pendency:
- It is available to every pre-school and school-aged child.
- A child cannot be moved to another school or program unless proven that the new location is substantially similar to the last one.
- Some private schools may require tuition payment while the proceedings are happening, and you will then need to be reimbursed later by the district.
- Even if you lose a case or a settlement cannot be reached with the DOE, you will not be entitled to pay the tuition owed during that time.
As an advocate for your child’s education, it’s important that you understand the laws that can protect their education and ensure they are never left to fall behind while the details with the district are being worked out.
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