What are the issues?
Special education is not a program or a place. The law is clear that children with disabilities should have the opportunity to attend the school they would attend if they did not have a disability, and must be given necessary special education supports and services. In practice, IEP teams can take into consideration the level and intensity of services required by children when considering options. But schools cannot dismiss outright their responsibility to provide equal opportunities to children with disabilities.
Here are possible responses:
“John can succeed at this school. He should not have to wait for the district to give him an opportunity to come here.”
“It’s the IEP team’s responsibility to develop a complete education program for John. When we identify the supports, adaptations and accommodations that will assist both John and his teachers, we know he will be able to learn and grow with the other students.”