What is Informed Consent?

Informed consent means that as a parent you must be given full and complete disclosure of all relevant facts and information pertaining to your child regarding certain proposed activities by your local educational agency. Consent remains voluntary and may be withheld or withdrawn at any time as it pertains to an initial evaluation of your child.

Written parental consent directed to your child’s school district is required when: (a) your child undergoes an initial evaluation to determine his or her eligibility for special education and related services, (b) before your child is placed in special education services, (c) before your child is placed in private placement, and (d) before your child is reevaluated. However a parent’s failure to give consent to a reevaluation may be overridden if the school district can show that a good-faith effort was made to obtain consent and the child’s parent failed to respond.

The written parental consent granted to the local educational agency before conducting an initial evaluation of your child does not carry over and constitute consent to placing your child in special education. Separate written consent is required following an initial evaluation if your child is found to be eligible for special education and related services.

Refusing to Consent

If a parent disagrees with a proposed special education activity, the school district must still ensure that your child receives a FAPE. However, if you refuse to give written consent for the school district to conduct either an initial evaluation or a reevaluation, the school district may proceed on its own and initiate a due process hearing in order to move forward with the recommended evaluations. On the other hand, if a parent does not consent to special education services placement, even if a child is eligible, the school district may not initiate a due process hearing as a means of obtaining authority to place your child in special education.

Our education law firm in Westport Connecticut serves clients with expulsion, discrimination, and general education law issues from all over the state including the towns of: Bethel, Bridgeport, Brookfield, Danbury, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Monroe, New Canaan, New Fairfield, Newton, Norwalk, Redding, Ridgefield, Shelton, Sherman, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, Weston, Westport, and Wilton. We have the best education law attorneys in CT on staff that can help with your Connecticut or New York education issues today.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to an education law attorney about a pressing matter, please don’t hesitate to call our office at (203) 221-3100. We offer free consultations to all new clients.