Sara Gelser posted in SEPTAP: Special Education PTA of Portland
Source: Facebook Group
Our office continues to receive calls and letters of concern from families all across the state unable to access a full time transition program for their students, despite the passage of HB 2283. We received a legal opinion from Legislative Counsel that confirms that HB 2283 DOES require districts to provide access to 990 hours of service. If a district comes to an IEP meeting offering a part time transition program, that is a unilateral reduction in services. The district must first offer a full time program. The burden to reduce the number of hours lays with the party that wishes to reduce the hours, and must be justified in detail on the IEP. Further, if district staff are the only members of the IEP team supporting reduced hours over the objection of parents/student, that also constitutes a unilateral reduction in services which is prohibited by law.
When you go to your IEP meeting, it is critical that you document your student’s request for full time services, and your objection to a reduction in transition programming. You can do this by taking two steps:
1) When preparing for the IEP meeting, please make your request for full time transition services (990 hours a year, or the number of hours your local high school is required to provide instruction to high school students without disabilities) in writing. Simply state: “Nancy Smith requests to access full time transition services (990 hours) she is entitled to access under ORS 329.451 “
If that request is denied, please document the refusal in writing, by providing to the school district and saving for your records a statement similar to the following:
“Nancy Smith requested to access full time transition services. At the IEP meeting, school district representatives denied this request over our objections. We are registering our objection in writing, and request again that Nancy Smith have access to a full time transition program. Because the decision was only supported by representatives from the school district, we believe this constitutes a unilateral reduction in services by the school district, which is expressly prohibited by ORS 329.451 12 (a) (B).”