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Parental Rights

The special education process is a collaboration between families and CMS. Therefore, it is important for parents of children with disabilities to understand their rights throughout this process.

Procedural Safeguards: 

Handbook on Parents' Rights

As stated in the Public Schools of North Carolina, Exceptional Children Division Parent Rights and Responsibilities in Special Education: Notice of Procedural Safeguards, "The IDEA requires schools to provide parents of a child with a disability a notice containing a full explanation of the procedural safeguards (legal rights) available under the IDEA and the federal regulations." Additional information can be found at the US Department of Education's searchable website at In addition, you can view the Rights and Responsibilities in Special Education: Notice of Procedural Safeguards at these links:

This handbook is designed to support families in understanding the rights and responsibilities specific to the special education process. In addition, acronyms and terms often used in special education and resources can be found in the appendices. If you suspect your student may have a disability and requires special education and/or related services, you may request an evaluation, in writing, to your student's school principal, teacher, or the CMS EC Department on our Contact Information page.

Advocates and Attorneys

Programs for Exceptional Children believe that collaboration between district staff and parents is the best way to make decisions related to developing a student's IEP. Therefore, parents may wish to bring a representative to an IEP meeting from time to time, such as an advocate or attorney. Please notify the school or the Exceptional Children Department in advance if you bring an attorney to the meeting. A school district attorney would also be required to be present at the meeting. 

Dispute Resolution Options

Please use the following link to access information from the North Carolina Exceptional Children Division regarding dispute resolution options. Please contact Corrine Turner at 980-343-2770 if you have any questions. Dispute Resolution Options.

From time to time, disagreements between families and schools may occur regarding developing and implementing a student's individualized education program (IEP). Therefore, it is highly recommended that the following steps be considered to resolve differences quickly.

Step 1- Address at the Classroom Level. Talk to your child's teacher about your concerns.

Step 2- Address at the School Level. Talk with the administration at your child's school.

Step 3- Address with Assistance from CMS Programs for Exceptional Children. Please contact Kimberly Tucker, EC Parent Liaison, via email at or via phone at 980-343-6960. 

NC Policies Governing Services for Children with Disabilities

Learn more about the NC Policies related to Special Education Services.