Although the spirit of the federal special education regulations is that parents and schools will arrive at a consensus, sometimes conflict arises. The Office of Dispute Resolution, a unit under Exceptional Student Services (ESS), offers several options for parents and schools to address and resolve these special education conflicts: Facilitated IEP; mediation; a state administrative complaint system through which ADE can investigate alleged procedural violations of the IDEA; and a due process hearing system.
Parents and school staff are encouraged to communicate and work together to reach an agreement that is in the best interest of the student. Parents may also request in writing that the school reconvene the IEP team to discuss concerns. To get help in finding a mutual agreement or if problems persist, contact the school and ask to speak with the special education coordinator or special education director.
To resolve special education issues at the local level prior to utilizing the alternative or formal dispute resolution options, contact the following:
Every Arizona district and charter school has an assigned PSM specialist. PSM specialists provide information related to special education requirements and can help parents, constituents, and schools resolve special education issues at the local level. From the PSM page scroll down to the blue tab, Find Your Specialist.
RSK is a nonprofit parent organization that provides support and information for parents of children with a full range of disabilities and health care needs from birth to age 26. Programs are offered at no cost to families and are available in English and Spanish.
ESS offers Request Assistance, an email inbox that is available to submit special education questions for a prompt reply. Email your question, and someone will contact you during regular weekday work hours within 24 hours of your posting the question.
Page revised 8/18/22