The provisions of IDEA’04 make it clear that where the parent does not provide consent for the initial evaluation, the school district may invoke procedural safeguards, such as mediation or a due process hearing, to pursue such evaluation. Section 614 (a)(1)(D)(ii)(I). If the parent refuses to consent to services for the child, however, the school district shall not provide special education and related services to the child and the district may not invoke mediation or the due process hearing system. Section 614 (a)(1)(D)(ii)(II). Where the parent refuses to consent to services or fails to respond to a request to provide such services, the school district is relieved of the obligation to provide FAPE to the student and is not required to convene an IEP team meeting or to develop an IEP for the child. Section 614 (a)(1)(D)(ii)(III)(aa) and (bb).
OSEP has clarified that a school district must make reasonable efforts to obtain the informed parental consent for an initial evaluation and document these efforts in the same manner as documenting efforts to obtain parent participation in IEP team meetings. 71 Fed. Register No. 156 at page 46631 (August 14, 2006). A school district may, but is not required to, utilize the procedural safeguards to obtain parental consent for an evaluation although OSEP believes the override procedures should be used only in rare circumstances. 71 Fed. Register No. 156 at page 46632 (August 14, 2006).
The reasonable efforts required of a school district do not require the convening of an IEP team meeting, although a school district may convene an IEP team meeting in order to obtain informed consent. 71 Fed. Register No. 156 at page 46634 (August 14, 2006).
OSEP will publish regulations in the future concerning whether a parent who previously consented to services may later withdraw their child from special education. 71 Fed. Register No. 156 at page 46633 (August 14, 2006).
Where a child is home schooled or placed by his parents in a private school at their own expense, the school district may not use the procedural safeguards to attempt an override of lack of consent. 34 CFR Section 300.300(d)(4); 71 Fed. Register No. 156 at page 46635 (August 14, 2006).