• Home
PROCEDURAL SAFEGUARDS: MEDIATION AND RESOLUTION SESSIONS - Statute

4. Adds “resolution sessions.”
Prior to the opportunity for an impartial due process hearing under Section 615(f)(1)(A), the LEA shall convene a meeting with the parents and the relevant member or members of the individualized education program (IEP) team who have specific knowledge of the facts identified in the request for a due process hearing:
  • Within 15 days of receiving notice of the parents' request for a due process hearing;
  • Which shall include a representative of the agency who has decision-making authority on behalf of such agency;
  • Which may not include an attorney of the LEA unless the parent is accompanied by an attorney; and
  • Where the parents of the child discuss their request for a due process hearing, and the facts that form the basis of the request for a due process hearing, and the LEA is provided the opportunity to resolve the request for a due process hearing, unless the parents and the LEA agree in writing to waive such meeting, or agree to use the mediation process described in Section 615(e).
[615(f)(1)(B)(i)]

If the LEA has not resolved the issues that are the subject of the request for the due process hearing to the satisfaction of the parents within 30 days of the receipt of the request for a due process hearing, the due process hearing may occur, and all of the applicable timelines for a due process hearing under Part B shall commence. [615(f)(1)(B)(ii)]

In the case that a resolution is reached to resolve the issues that are the subject of the request for a due process hearing at a meeting described in Section 615(f)(1)(B)(i), the parties shall execute a legally binding agreement that is:
  • Signed by both the parent and a representative of the agency who has the authority to bind such agency; and
  • Enforceable in any state court of competent jurisdiction or in a district court of the United States.
[615(f)(1)(B)(iii)]

If the parties execute an agreement pursuant to Section 615(f)(1)(B)(iii), a party may void such agreement within three business days of the agreement's execution. [615(f)(1)(B)(iv)]

Dialogue Starter - Cross-stakeholder

Reaction Questions

  1. What is a resolution session?


  2. What is the difference between a resolution session and mediation?


  3. How might the resolution session affect the due process timelines?


  4. What are the implications for parents if the LEA files the compliant?


  5. What are the implications if one party wishes to waive the meeting and the other does not?


Application Questions

  1. Other than attorneys, who might be present at resolution sessions, either by mutual consent or unilaterally?


  2. If the parties agree to an external facilitator at resolution session, when does it become mediation?


  3. Who are considered relevant members of the IEP team that would participate in a resolution session and who makes this decision?


  4. How might the LEA document the meeting proceedings to ensure that the issue is resolved?


  5. How might an LEA resolve disputes regarding who attends the resolution session?


  6. Can an outside facilitator be paid and, if so, who is financially responsible for payment?


    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