Toolbox Tuesday!! Who should be doing the manifestation determination?

On Tuesdays around here we review the Toolbox—a full day training program that offers ten “tools” to help schools serve students with disabilities who present challenging behaviors.  Today, a few words about manifestation determination reviews (MDR).

I came across a case from California in which the parent complained that a general education teacher was not present at the meeting when the MDR was conducted.  The hearing officer concluded that this was irrelevant—the district did not need to produce the entire IEP Team—only the “relevant members” of the team.

Hmmm. Is that correct?  In California it may be. Not in Texas.

Federal regulations do say that the MDR is to be done by “the LEA, the parent, and relevant members of the IEP Team (as determined by the parent and the LEA).”  34 CFR 300.530(e)(1).  So you only have to attend if you are a “relevant” member.  Irrelevant members are off the hook.  That’s the federal regulation the hearing officer in the California case was relying on.

But in Texas we have a state law that requires that the MDR must be done by the entire ARD Committee—relevant along with irrelevant members:

Any disciplinary action regarding a student with a disability who receives special education services that would constitute a change in placement under federal law may be taken only after the student’s admission, review, and dismissal committee conducts a manifestation determination review under 20 U.S.C. 1415(k)(4) and its subsequent amendments. T.E.C. 37.004(b).

So you should have a properly constituted ARD Committee doing the MDR. That would include a general education teacher.

Interested in Toolbox training?  Let me hear from you.


 Tomorrow: Coach Wallace is exposed!