Welcome to Dispute Resolution!
The requirement for schools to facilitate parents’ participation in educational decisions regarding their children is evident throughout the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the federal law that deals with special education. Although the spirit of the regulations is that parents and schools will arrive at consensus, sometimes conflict arises. The Office of Dispute Resolution offers a number of options for parents and schools to address and resolve these conflicts.
Click on the links under the icons below to learn more about the services offered by Dispute Resolution. The colored buttons at the right provide additional information.
What is Dispute Resolution?
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires States to make available formal processes for public schools and families of children with disabilities age 3 through 21 to resolve disputes involving special education. The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) offers mediation (34 C.F.R. § 300.506), a due process hearing system (§ 300.507), and a state administrative complaint system through which ADE can investigate alleged violations of the IDEA (§§ 300.151 through 153). In addition, Dispute Resolution offers Early Resolution and Facilitated IEP as additional options for resolving special education conflicts between parents and schools.
Resolution at the Local Level
Special education disputes are best resolved at the earliest stages by the child’s parents and school staff members of the IEP team. Parents and school staff are encouraged to communicate and work together to reach an agreement that is in the best interest of the child. Parents may also request in writing that the school reconvene the IEP team to discuss questions or concerns. Each district or charter school has a special education director or coordinator that parents can contact if problems still exist. The special education director can often assist the IEP team in finding a mutual agreement or resolution. To find the contact information for the special education director or coordinator for each school district or charter school, visit the ADE Public School Search and type the name of the school in the search bar on the left side of the screen.