Parent's RightsThe parent who has a child that receives special education programs and services has additional rights and responsibilities. A copy of the Special Education Rights may be found on the California Department of Education, Special Education, web site. In addition, copies may be obtained from the local school district, or SELPA office (Parent Rights Procedural Safeguards Notice rev. 04/13) (Spanish) En Español (rev. 04/13)). Every parent should read the rights that are printed by their local school district and SELPA.
This is the Web version of a document developed by the California Department of Education in response to California law that specifies the legal rights of parents to participate in their children's education (Chapter 864, Statutes of 1998). Parents and guardians are encouraged and welcomed to become involved in the formal education of their children enrolled in public schools. This early and consistent parental involvement helps children to do well academically. When this involvement is combined with a partnership between home and school, the student, the school, and the community benefit.
Parents and guardians of enrolled students have the right to be included in the educational process and to have access to the system on behalf of their children. These rights are outlined in Chapter 864, Statutes of 1998:
- Classroom observing
- Teacher conferencing
- Student attendance
- Student testing
- School selection
- Safe school environment
- Curriculum materials
- Student academic progress
- Student records
- School rules
- Psychological testing
- Councils and committees
- Policy development
Education Code Section 51101(c) notes: "This section may not be construed so as to authorize a school to inform a parent or guardian, . . . or to permit participation by a parent or guardian in the education of a child, if it conflicts with a valid restraining order, protective order, or order for custody or visitation issued by a court of competent jurisdiction." (Chapter 864, Statutes of 1998, Education Code Sections 51100 - 51102)
Parents have the right to visit their child's classroom to observe activities. The time and date of the visitation must be arranged in advance with the school.
Parents have the right to request a conference with their child's teacher(s) or the principal. Parents should contact the school to schedule a date and time convenient to all participants.
Parents have the right to volunteer their time and resources for the improvement of school facilities and programs. Parents should contact the school to determine the terms and conditions of this service.
Parents have the right to be notified in a timely manner if their child is absent from school without permission.
Parents have the right to be notified of their child's performance on standardized and state-wide tests and the school's ranking on these tests. (Under other state law, parents may request that their child not participate in the statewide tests.)
Parents have the right to request that their child be enrolled in any school in the district. The district is not compelled to grant the request.
Safe School Environment
Parents have the right and are entitled to the assurance of a safe and supportive learning environment for their child.
Parents have the right to examine the curriculum materials of the class or classes in which their child is enrolled.
Student Academic Progress
Parents have the right to be informed of their child's academic progress in school and of the persons to contact if they wish more information or assistance with their child.
Parents have the right to access their child's records and to question anything they feel is inaccurate or misleading or an invasion of privacy. Parents have the right to a timely response from the school district about their questions.
Parents have the right to receive information regarding the academic standards their child is expected to meet.
Parents have the right to receive written notification of school rules, attendance policies, dress codes, and procedures for school visitations.
Parents have the right to receive information on all psychological testing recommended for their child.
Councils and Committees
Parents have the right to participate as a member of a parent advisory committee, school-site council, or site-based management leadership team in accordance with established rules and regulations for membership.
Parents also have the right to attend at least two meetings per year scheduled by the school to get information on school issues and activities.
Parents and guardians have the right and should be given the opportunity to work in a mutually supportive and respectful partnership with the school to help their child succeed. The governing board of each school district shall adopt a jointly created policy that outlines how parents and guardians, school staff, and students may share the responsibility for the intellectual, physical, emotional, social development, and well-being of their students. This policy shall include, but is not limited to:
1. How parents/guardians and the school will help students to achieve academic and other standards.
2. How the school will provide high-quality curriculum and instruction in a supportive learning environment to all students enrolled.
3. What parents and guardians can do to support their child's learning environment, including but not limited to:
- Monitoring school attendance
- Monitoring homework completion
- Encouraging participation in extracurricular activities
- Monitoring and regulating television viewing
- Planning and participating in activities at home supportive of classroom activities
- Volunteering at school
- Participating in decision-making processes at school
- Complaint Process
- Helpful Hints When Requesting Direct State Intervention
- Request for Complaint Investigation
- Dispute Resolution Process
- Due Process and Your Child
- Early Intervention
- Inclusive Education
- Individualized Educational Plans (IEP)
- Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)
- Individualized Transition Plan (ITP)
- KCSOS Special Education Programs
- Parenting a Child with Special Needs
- SELPA Publications