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“Stay-Put.” What is it and what do you need to know?

Updated: Apr 19, 2021

In Massachusetts, Stay-Put is a protection under Federal and State Law to a student’s placement and/or services pending a dispute with the school.

Under the Federal Regulations, the “Stay-Put” provision only comes into play once a Due Process Complaint is filed. In that case, the parents do not have to “request” stay-put protections because it is automatic. The student’s then-existing IEP controls and there can be no change of placement or no change in the IEP unless both parties agree (or in very few exceptional circumstances).

Under the Massachusetts Regulations, the “Stay-Put” provision comes into play during any dispute or disagreement over services and placements. No Due Process action is necessary. The student "stays put" in his/her existing placement and program until the dispute has been resolved unless the the parties mutually agree. In Massachusetts, stay put is not automatic and parents should exercise their right to stay-put in writing.

Again, state law says to exercise your stay-put right during any dispute whereas federal law says that stay-put happens automatically upon the filing of a Due Process Complaint.

This can get tricky and other factors can come into play. Feel free to contact me if you have questions.


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