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1. Requires that mediation2 is available whether or not there is a request for a due process hearing.3
Any state education agency (SEA) or local education agency (LEA) that receives assistance under Part B shall ensure that procedures are established and implemented to allow parties to disputes involving any matter, including matters arising prior to the filing of a due process hearing request pursuant to Section 615(b)(6), to resolve such disputes through a mediation process. [615(e)(1)]

2The mediation provision in Part C, Procedural Safeguards, Section 639(a)(8), provides parents with the right to use mediation in accordance with Section 615(e), except that: any reference to a state education agency (SEA) shall be considered to be a reference to the state lead agency established or designated under Section 635(a)(10); any reference in Section 639 to an LEA shall be considered a reference to a local service provider or the state’s lead agency under Part C, as the case may be; and any reference in Section 639 to the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to children with disabilities shall be considered to be a reference to the provision of appropriate early intervention services to infants or toddlers with disabilities.
3IDEA 2004 uses the term “complaint” to indicate a request for a due process hearing. The term “request for a due process hearing” will be used in this document in lieu of “complaint.” [615(c)(2)]

Dialogue Starter - Cross-stakeholder

Reaction Questions

  1. How might the new provision that mediation be available whether or not there is a due process hearing request affect other early resolution processes a Local Education Agency (LEA) may offer?

  2. In your view, will this provision increase the demand for mediation? If so, how will existing capacity and capability match the demand?

Application Questions

  1. What types of information strategies might LEAs use to educate staff and parents on mediation?

  2. What procedures and practices are necessary for states to accurately address mediation requirements?

  3. What types of information dissemination strategies could LEAs use to inform stakeholders about the availability of mediation?

    These questions were developed by the following stakeholders working together:

    Role: National Family Advocacy Organization
    Location: Minnesota
    Role: Assistant Superintendent
    Location: Michigan
    Role: Family Advocate
    Location: Maryland
    Role: National TA Provider
    Location: Oregon
    Role: Principal
    Location: Virginia
    Role: State Education Agency
    Location: Pennsylvania
    Role: TA Provider
    Location: Washington, D.C.
    Role: Family Advocate
    Location: Tennessee