You show up at your IEP meeting and there is no general educator present. The members present might just simply say that they couldn't get the schedule together to have everyone there. In 1997, with the reauthorization of IDEA, much stronger language was implemented requiring a general education teacher to be present at the IEP meeting. It only makes sense, especially if the general ed. teacher will be the primary educator who will be seeing your child on a day-to-day basis.
"I noticed there is no general ed. teacher here today. So I assume we will consider this meeting a 'pre-planning' session for our real IEP when the general ed. teacher can be here"
"I really believe that in order for us to effectively have a discussion about Katherine's goals and services for next year, there is really no point in spending all this time talking about it, without the entire IEP team present. This meeting is really our chance to all be on the same page about Katherine's needs."
The only time it wouldn't be 'appropriate' is if the student doesn't have a
general education teacher.