Media reports indicate proposed cuts to school budgets across the country. Budget cuts may affect the employment of para-educators (also known as paraprofessionals). Often a paraprofessional is assigned to a student (or group of students) who have special needs.
Students who meet eligibility requirements get special services through a document called an IEP. The IEP is where the services of a paraprofessional are determined and resulting in the mandate for the service(s).
In order to eliminate the paraprofessional that is mandated through a student IEP, the IEP would have to be adjusted. The parent must be fully informed when this occurs. There must either be an “IEP meeting” or an “amendment” to the IEP must be made. In either case, parent involvement is required. This is where the parent can indicate that a paraprofessional continues to be required in order that the student receive “educational benefit”.
The process can be confusing and parents can be easily misled. A child advocate can help here; they can prepare communications for you upon request and also attend those IEP meetings. Some may also prepare an IEP amendment upon your request so that you may submit it to the school.
The IEPcenter.com has child advocates who assist parents in Kansas and Missouri and others over the phone/internet. Google voice phone # 816 865-6262.