IDEA Dispute Resolution Parent Guides
from The National Center on Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE)CADRE developed four parent guides with the support of parent leaders from across the country.
Due Process Complaints/Hearing Requests
Resolution Meetings Guide
Written State Complaints
IEP FAQs Pop-Up
Resolving Parent-School Disputes
From Wrightslaw, answers to 12 key questions plus additional resources.
The SpedEx Program is: a dispute resolution option that is available in certain cases after an IEP has been rejected or a hearing request has been filed. It (a) is designed to assure that a child receives a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE); (b) is voluntary and will build trust between parents and schools; (c) is expedient; (d) provides a jointly agreed-upon independent SpedEx consultant to review evidence and advise the parties on FAPE and LRE so they may resolve their dispute.
•Use of an independent, neutral, educational SpedEx consultant jointly agreed-upon by parent and school whose fee will be paid by the DESE
•Placement of students by agreement within 30 days with post-placement observation by SpedEx consultant
•Decisions made through joint school-family knowledge and cooperation
•DESE has solicited and selected an administrator of the SpedEx Program, Dr. David Scanlon, Associate Professor of Special Education at Boston College. Professor Scanlon maintains schedules, contracts with the SpedEx consultants, conducts satisfaction surveys, and develops data to assess the efficacy of the pilot project.
Massachusetts Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA)
The Bureau of Special Education Appeals ("BSEA") conducts mediations, advisory opinions and due process hearings to resolve disputes among parents, school districts, private schools and state agencies. The BSEA derives its authority from both federal law and regulations (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, "IDEA") and Massachusetts law and regulations. (MGL ch. 71B)
A parent or a school district may request mediation, advisory opinion and/or a hearing on any matter concerning the eligibility, evaluation, placement, individualized education program (IEP), provision of special education in accordance with state and federal law, or procedural protections of state and federal law for students with disabilities. A school district may not request a hearing on a parent's failure or refusal to consent to initial evaluation or initial placement of a child in a special education program or to written revocation of parental consent for further receipt of special education and related services. In addition, a parent may request a hearing on any issue involving the denial of the free appropriate public education guaranteed by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, The Department of Education
350 Main Street
Malden, MA 02148