2. Provides parents and schools the opportunity to meet with a disinterested party.
An LEA or SEA may establish procedures to offer to parents and schools that choose not to use the mediation process an opportunity to meet, at a time and location convenient to the parents, with a disinterested party who is under contract with:
  • A parent training and information center or community parent resource center in the state, established under Section 671 or 672; or
  • An appropriate alternative dispute resolution entity to encourage the use, and explain the benefits, of the mediation process to the parents.

Dialogue Starter - Cross-stakeholder

Reaction Questions

  1. IDEA 2004 provides that the LEA to ‘offer’ not ‘require’ an opportunity to meet with a disinterested party if they choose not to pursue mediation?. In your view, what might be the differences in outcomes between these two levels of service provision. ?

  2. If an alternative dispute resolution entity is paid to provide mediation, how might this affect their ability to be a “disinterested party”?

Application Questions

  1. What methods have been particularly successful in engaging parents in the mediation process?

  2. What methods have been particularly successful in engaging LEAs who routinely do not participate in mediation to consider the mediation process?

  3. How might a state begin to define a “disinterested entity”?

    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