A Representative of the School System

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Picture of a woman at a laptop, serving in the role of the representative of the school system.


Alert! Alert! 
Because NICHCY’s website will only remain online until September 30, 2014, most of its rich content has moved to a new home, the Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR), where it can be kept up to date.

The new address of A Representative of the School System at the CPIR is:


September 2010

This info in Spanish | Esta información en español

Every IEP team must include a “representative of the public agency” responsible for educating the child in question, according to IDEA. By “public agency,” we’re usually talking about the school system–the local educational agency, for example.

This person must be:

  • qualified to provide, or supervise the provision of, specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of children with disabilities;
  • knowledgeable about general education curriculum; and
  • knowledgeable about the availability of resources of the public agency.

The phrase “qualified to provide specially designed instruction” is closely tied to the definition of special education, which begins, “The term special education means specially designed instruction, at no cost to parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability…” [§300.39(a)(1)]

Thus, the representative from the public agency who is serving on the IEP Team must be qualified to provide special education or supervise its provision.

The last bullet is very important, too, as to this person’s qualifications. He or she “must be knowledgeable about the availability of resources of the public agency.” It doesn’t do any good to sit and plan in a vacuum, wondering what type of help is available and if someone will actually commit that help on behalf of the child. The public agency representative must know what resources the school has available. This person must also have the power to commit the resources needed so that services can be provided as described in the child’s IEP and be able to ensure that whatever services are described in the IEP will actually be provided.

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Final Note

IDEA also states that the public agency may designate another public agency member of the IEP Team to also serve as the agency representative, as long as that person has the qualifications required for the public agency representative. Thus, it’s possible that the public agency representative may also be serving on the team in another role.

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Would you like to read about another member of the IEP Team?

If so, use these links to jump there quickly.

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NOTICE: NICHCY is going away, but its resources are not. Find hundreds of legacy NICHCY publications, as well as our training curriculum on IDEA 2004, in the Center for Parent Information and Resources' Library at http://www.parentcenterhub.org/resources. This website will remain available until September 30, 2014. After that date, web visitors will be automatically redirected to http://www.parentcenterhub.org.