The Comprehensive Guide to Special Education Law by George A. Giuliani is a detailed yet accessible introduction to federal law as it applies to the rights of children with special needs. Written in a user-friendly question and answer format, the book covers all of the key areas of special education law including parental rights of participation, the legal right to Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) and related services, and the complex issues of discipline and dispute resolutions.
Who is a “parent” as defined under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA)?
Perhaps the most important element afforded under IDEIA is the right to parental participation at almost all stages of the special education process. To increase the odds that each child has a parent in the special education process, IDEIA does define the term “parent” but does so in a broad way. Under IDEIA, a “parent” means:
- A biological (natural) or adoptive parent of a child
- A foster parent, unless State law, regulations, or contractual obligations with a State or local entity prohibit a foster parent from acting as a parent
- A guardian generally authorized to act as the child’s parent, or authorized to make educational decisions for the child (but not the State if the child is a ward of the State)
- An individual acting in the place of a biological or adoptive parent (including a grandparent, stepparent, or other relative) with whom the child lives, or an individual who is legally responsible for the child’s welfare, or
- A surrogate parent who has been appointed in accordance with 34 C.F.R. 300.519.
Download the Requirements for Being a “Parent” extract here.
Dr. George Giuliani works at Hofstra University, Long Island, where he is an Associate Professor at the School of Education, Health and Human Services and former Director of the graduate school program in Special Education. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at Hofstra University’s School of Law where he teaches the course, Special Education Law. Dr. Giuliani is the Executive Director of The National Association of Special Education Teachers, Executive Director of the American Academy of Special Education Professors, and President of the National Association of Parents with Children in Special Education. He has written many books on special education and he is a consultant for school districts and early childhood agencies. He resides in Melville, New York.