A child with special needs can come in many different shapes and sizes and can have a number of different issues. The vast majority of the time, these kids are able to attend school but may need a little extra help to get a good education.
This is where an Individualized Education Program comes in to play. While there a lot of federal laws surrounding an IEP, the basic idea is that the law requires educational institutions to supply education on a basis tailored to the needs of the student. The goal is to prevent a child suffering with a disability or other special need from slipping through the cracks of what might otherwise be a one-size-fits-all education system.
Massachusetts parents living in separate homes need to understand that IEPs require their involvement and consent at several important stages. Consent is more than just agreeing with the school's course of action; consent generally implies something in writing, and it also implies that a parent will be given information about the school's proposal and what alternatives there might be to it.
The school is going to follow the laws applicable to it when deciding whether it needs the consent of both parents or just the parent with whom they are dealing on a regular basis. However, parents who are subject to a child custody order and have a special needs child in school may want to be sure that they address any issues surrounding an IEP in their order. This is particularly true if both parents are going to share decision-making authority when it comes to education.