(2019, November) | Offers current data on the use of IDEA’s dispute resolution mechanisms in selected states.
If parents and school districts disagree over special education services provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, either party has options to resolve the dispute, such as mediation or filing a due process complaint.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) was asked to review parents’ use of IDEA dispute resolution options. GAO’s findings are detailed in its November 2019 report entitled Special Education: IDEA Dispute Resolution Activity in Selected States Varied Based on School Districts’ Characteristics (GAO-20-22). The 58-page report discusses:
As is its standard practice, GAO also released a 1-page Highlights summary.
Access both the full report and the 1-page Highlights online, at:
PDF of the full report | https://www.gao.gov/assets/710/702514.pdf
PDF of the Highlights | https://www.gao.gov/assets/710/702509.pdf
GAO reviewed publicly available data on dispute resolution at the state level and collected data at the school district level from 5 states—Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, and Pennsylvania—selected based on the number of disputes initiated and school district characteristics, among other factors. GAO also reviewed relevant federal laws, regulations, and Department of Education and state documents; and interviewed ED officials, state officials, staff from organizations providing technical assistance in these 5 states, and other national advocacy organizations
Challenges Faced by Parents | Parents may face a variety of challenges in using IDEA dispute resolution. Stakeholders cited challenges such as:
Addressing the Challenges |The Department of Education and states provide several kinds of support that, in part, may address some of these challenges. For example, ED and state agencies provide technical assistance to support parents’ understanding of their rights under IDEA and to facilitate their use of dispute resolution options (e.g., providing informational documents and phone help lines to parents).
SOURCE ARTICLE: Center for Parent Information and Resources
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