Children in Florida who have an individualized education program, or IEP, rely on their teachers to be their advocates as well as their partners in ensuring that their education goes according to the plan. However, teachers sometimes do not follow the IEP, which needs to be addressed quickly to understand the root cause and get things back on track.
Steps to take
It’s important to understand that an IEP is a legal requirement, and following it is not optional. A teacher might not be following it by mistake or because they believe they are doing the right thing. That’s why it is a good idea to start out by having a civil conversation with the teacher. It is the most impactful and fastest way to resolve any issues. If talking to the teacher does not lead to them moving back to following the IEP, then the next step is a talk with a representative from the administration of the school. Parents or guardians should make sure that they have timed notes of the IEP departures and what has happened with the teacher.
If the teacher and admin conversations do not yield results, parents should talk to the IEP team and discuss the problems as well as previous conversations. It might take multiple attempts to get a plan in place, so parents should be prepared for multiple meetings. Further steps can involve legal action under education law, such as filing a suit with the state.
Finding a solution
It should be straightforward to find out why a teacher is not following an IEP; hopefully, the answer is something that can be resolved with the teacher directly. If not, there are further steps to take to get things sorted out.