Parent Rights in the Era of RTI

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) and its federal regulations for implementation have significantly changed the way students suspected of having specific learning disabilities (SLD) are identified and found eligible for special education. Under IDEA 2004, states must allow (but not require) the use of “a process based on the child’s response to scientific, research-based intervention” or RTI. The adoption of the Response-to-Intervention (RTI) approach (often called a multi-tiered system of support) can improve the support of students with learning and behavior needs and can lead to earlier identification of students who have true disabilities and are in need of special education services.

If a school is using an RTI approach, what rights do parents have and what strategies can be used to address identification issues? This publication, Parent Rights in the Era of RTI includes information on:

  • RTI Use across States—The manner in which states incorporate RTI into SLD identification varies dramatically.
  • Child Find—Your school district’s legal obligation to “find” all children who may have a disability and, because of their disability, need special education services.
  • Rights to Evaluation—Every parent has the right to request an evaluation at any time to determine if their child has a disability and what that child’s educational needs are.
  • Strategies for Addressing Identification Issues—The process of determining whether your child has a disability such as a learning disability and needs special education cannot go on indefinitely.This publication will provide parents with the information they need when their child’s school is using the Response-to-Intervention approach.This is a companion report to a Parent’s Guide to RTI which can be downloaded directly on

Download Parent Rights in the Era of RTA here.