The IDEA specifies that a student is entitled to transition services as he or she prepares to exit the public school system. (20 USC Section 1414(d)(1)(A)(i)(VII)). Many courts have interpreted the IDEA narrowly by concluding the purpose of the statute is to prepare students to enter the workforce. Those courts have excluded transition services at any other time. In 2017, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals revisited this issue and reversed those decisions.
In reversing prior decisions, the 9th Circuit Court looked at 20 USC 1414(d)(1)(A)(i)(IV) which states that the IEP must include supplementary aids and services which will allow children to… be educated and participate with other children with disabilities and nondisabled children. Services that ease the transition between institutions or programs- whether public or private- serve this purpose. R.E.B. v. State of Hawaii Dept. of Education (9th Cir. 2017) 870 F.3d 1025.
If a student will be transitioning between new academic environments (preschool to school, elementary to middle school, etc.) and you believe they require a transition plan, contact Kristin Springer (925) 551-1041.
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