Mediation & Due Process


Special Education Mediation Fosters Conflict Resolution

Mediations can avoid involving the legal system in disputes
By Ann Logsdon

Special education mediations take place when parents and schools disagree on special education programs for students with learning disabilities. Because reaching a resolution can be difficult when such conflicts arise, mediation often follows.


Facilitated IEP Team Meetings in Maryland

Frequently Asked Questions for Parents and Public Agency/School Personnel
Maryland State Department of Education

Having IEP team meetings facilitated by an independent, trained “facilitator” is rapidly becoming a popular means for parents and school personnel to reach agreement in the educational decision making process for students needing or suspected of needing special education services. When the relationship between parents and school personnel become strained or better yet, before the relationship has the opportunity to fray,


Resolving Parent-School Disputes


Parents want the “best” education for their children. Schools are only required to provide “appropriate” services for children with disabilities. Conflict between parents and schools is normal and inevitable.


An Overview of The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004)

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) provides parents with procedural protections when a disagreement arises over the identification, evaluation, placement, or program of their child regarding special education and related services.


Maryland State Department of Education Family Support and Dispute Resolution Branch

The branch facilitates informal dispute resolution by responding to parent inquiries, assisting parents with navigating Maryland’s early intervention and special education systems, and connecting parents with community resources and local personnel who can assist with concerns. Additionally, staff investigate and resolve formal State complaints that allege violations of state and federal IDEA requirements regarding the special education of students with disabilities and maintains data and reports on the dispute resolution processes, including complaint investigations, mediations, and due process hearings.


Independent IEP Meeting Facilitation

The goal of the facilitated IEP meeting is to help IEP team members communicate effectively and develop an educational program to meet the child’s need. The independent facilitators, from Community Mediation Centers, can be contacted through the Howard County Public School System’s Family Support and Resource Center at 410-313-7161.


A Parent’s Guide to Due Process in Special Education

The Howard County Public School System promotes the involvement of parents, families and community members as active partners in education. There may be times when a parent, guardian, or custodian will have a concern related to his or her child’s education. A Parents’ Guide to Due Process In Special Education outlines the steps for addressing concerns


Formal Concern Form and Process

Resolving school concerns and disagreements
Howard County Public School System

When concerns outside special education arise, parents and guardians are encouraged to direct their concerns to the persons most closely involved. However, when an informal process fails to provide resolution, a parent may file a formal complaint