When determining whether your child requires more assistance than he or she is receiving, you should examine the following:

  • Your child's evaluations
  • Your child's Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
  • Your child's actual placement
  • Your own instincts about whether your child's needs are being met

The following steps may assist you in the process:*

(1) Examine your child's evaluations carefully. Are they up to date? Are they accurate? If not, you might want to consider having your child re-evaluated.
(2) Once you have obtained a valid evaluation, compare the evaluation with your child's IEP and determine whether your child's educational plan reflects the recommendations in the evaluation.
(3) Find out whether your child is receiving all of the recommendations mandated by the IEP. For example, ask if your child is receiving all of his or her mandated services and find out if your child's actual student/teacher ratio matches the ratio mandated by the IEP.
(4) Finally, look to see if your child is functioning both socially and academically on a similar level to other students in his or her class.

If (i) your child was never properly evaluated, (ii) your child's IEP does not reflect the actual needs of your child as per his/her evaluations or (iii) your child is not receiving all of the services recommended by his or her IEP, and is otherwise not appropriately placed, then your child is probably not receiving an appropriate education. You may wish to contact an attorney to discuss your child's educational rights.

In New York State, there is a two year statute of limitations for asserting your child's IDEA rights against the DOE. If you live outside of New York State, you should consult an attorney to find out the statute of limitations in your state.

If you are unable to afford a private attorney and you live in New York City, you may wish to call the helpline at Advocates for Children at 1-866-427-6033. Helpline staff can provide you guidance on the educational rights of your child.

*There are many factors that are relevant to FAPE. This website only reviews some of them.