How to Transfer an IEP to another School

How to Transfer IEP to another SchoolA parent of a child with a disability has worked with their school to assemble an Individual Education Program (IEP). When the services are decided upon, you have a plan for reaching the child’s goals, and then you learn that you need to transfer your child to another school. 

IEP Transfer: Rights & Expectations

The most important thing to know is all states and schools must follow the federal guidelines and requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which states they must provide a free, appropriate public education to all children that are eligible. The guidelines for in state or out of state transfers require that the child get education opportunities equivalent to the one provided by the previous IEP. 

Parents should be aware that different states may have added special education laws, and although the term “IEP” is synonymous in all states, different words can be used to talk about their services. Schools within the same state can also do things somewhat differently. Remember that the new IEP is required to be comparable, not exactly the same in every detail.

How to Transfer an IEP

While your child’s current school and special education teacher may be able to help, in the end, you as parents are responsible for making sure that the appropriate paperwork is done. Make sure you

  • get copies of school record and school files
  • make sure that a transfer application is made
  • check with both schools to be sure that all related services are submitted
  • follow up, especially if the transfer is not completed on time

This checklist is the same for parents whose child is moving within the state or to a new state. Some other details, however, may change.

What Can I Expect If I Transfer an IEP within the same State?

When a child with a disability must transfer to a different school in the same district or within the same state, the IDEA 2004 requires the school district to provide the child with a free appropriate public education, including

  • services that are comparable to those defined in the previous held IEP
  • conferencing with the parents until the time when the school district develops, approves, and implements a new IEP

It is important to note that if a child enrolls to a school within the same district, parents should check with the previous special education teacher to see if he or she can attend the IEP meeting.  If the child has a current IEP, it may not be necessary to redo it unless the school district or the parent feels it is vital.

What about Transferring an IEP to another State?

If a child with an IEP must transfer to a school in another state, the IDEA 2004 requires the district to provide the same benefits a student gets when transferring within a state (see the bullet points above).

In this case, however, a new evaluation may be necessary if there are different requirements than those in the state where the original IEP was implemented.

Can I Transfer an IEP to a Private School?

Private schools do not have to accept an IEP.  They do not receive federal funding and are not required to a free and appropriate education. In fact, they are not required to provide special education service to a child with a disability.

Do you have questions about how to transfer an IEP? Tell us in the comments!

Author: Pam Crum, Lead Teacher at A Grade Ahead

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