UMI Number: 3507702
"In the field of educational leadership, as well as special education, parental participation is paramount given that federal law has mandated that schools provide and show evidence that they foster parental participation. This quantitative, non-experimental study examined the relationship between level of education, marital status, socioeconomic status, parents' experience in special education, and student's disability category and their parents' perception of the individual education plan (IEP) meeting. The theoretical framework of this study encompassed the history of special education with a timeline of the evolution of federal and state leadership roles, laws, and litigation from 1958 to the present. Specific to this study was the provision of parental rights and participation in the individual education planning (IEP) process. The participants for this study consist of parents/guardians of students receiving special education services k-12. The survey instrument used in this study targeted various demographics. The study consisting of 51 respondents revealed a negative perception of the IEP meeting from those parents that reported being married and with 5 or more years of experience in special education. Through the identification and examination of specific demographic factors, school districts (urban, suburban, rural), and building levels (elementary, middle, high school) will be able to improve upon breaking down negative barriers that may impede an equal parent-professional partnership."