“Stay Put” Summary

Title:  A Closer Look at Your Right “To Stay in the Current Program if there is a Disagreement about Placement”

shutterstock_77692462California law requires that if a parent disagrees with their child’s district about special education placement or proposed changes in placement, that student “stay put” in their current placement until the dispute is resolved. The parent should not sign the IEP if they disagree with the placement. They should sign the IEP indicating that they were present but do not agree with the placement change.

The right for the student to “stay put” in the current education placement goes into effect when a due process complaint is filed. Parents must file a due process complaint.

Child’s Status during Proceedings

If the due process complaint results in administrative or judicial proceedings, the law requires that the student remain in the current educational placement and the public agency must ensure that the child receives their free appropriate public education (FAPE).

Once a parent files a due process complaint, a 30-day resolution period goes into immediate effect. The parent’s participation in the resolution process is a prerequisite to an impartial due process hearing.

When does “stay put” not apply?

  • If the complaint involves an application for initial services under Part B of the Act (i.e. generally provided in a school setting) from a child who has turned three and is no longer eligible under Part C of the act (i.e. services provided in the natural environment, often the infant or toddler’s home or other community program). In this case, the public agency is not required to continue providing the early intervention services on the child’s IFSP because the child does not have a “current educational placement” in which to stay put.