The Impact of the Five Day Rule on the Practice of School Psychology in Maryland

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In 2010, Maryland passed a law that required parents to have access to all relevant documents at least five business days in advance of an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting. This study, a follow-up to a 2011 survey, was conducted to determine whether school psychologists' concerns about the law have merit and whether the law has achieved its intended purpose. Results showed that since the law's implementation, school-based psychologists have experienced, on average, an increase in the amount of time they spend in special education activities and a decrease in time devoted to consultation and direct services. This impact, however, was not felt by all; further analyses of quantitative and qualitative data investigated what characteristics led to the greatest effects. For most respondents there had been no changes in student testing practices, report writing, or IEP team decision-making, while time constraints and work-related stress have worsened.