IDEA wisely includes multiple mechanisms that families and schools can use to resolve disputes associated with the education of children with disabilities. These include: written State complaints, mediation, due process complaints, resolution meetings, and due process hearings.
Indicator 19, shown in bold below, deals with disputes that are successfully resolved through mediation, from which a mediation agreement emerges. Indicators 16, 17, and 18 address other methods of resolving disputes under IDEA (State complaint, due process, and resolution sessions, respectively). The four indicators are often discussed together, since they are fall under the overarching goal of “timely dispute resolution.”
Percent of mediations held that resulted in mediation agreements. [20 U.S.C. 1416(a)(3)(B)]
Resources to Support Data Gathering for Indicator 19
Guidance documents on Indicator 19.
Resources from CADRE.
State programs under Part B and Part C of IDEA are required to submit an Annual Performance Report (APR) on their State Performance Plan (SPP) progress. CADRE has assembled resources to assist states with the four dispute resolution indicators (Indicators 16, 17, 18, and 19) addressed in the SPP/APRs.
How are we doing?
What’s the current status on states’ timely resolution of disputes via mediation? Find out in the synthesis below from 2011. Indicator 19 is discussed in combination with the other three indicators as well (16, 17, and 18), all of which deal with dispute resolution.
Resources to Support Dispute Resolution via Mediation
Understand each of the dispute resolution options under IDEA.
NICHCY devotes an entire section of its website to Dispute Resolution Options. There’s a quick overview, if you want a crash course or a fast refresher, and there are detailed explanations as well. Find information specific to mediation beginning at:
Find the same information in Spanish.
Go to the experts at CADRE.
The Consortium for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE) works to increase the nation’s capacity to effectively resolve special education disputes, reducing the use of expensive adversarial processes. CADRE works with state and local education and early intervention systems, parent centers, families and educators to improve programs and results for children with disabilities. Lots of resources are available in both English and Spanish.
Call on your state’s PTI.
Each state has a parent training and information center—-the PTI. These centers can be very helpful to families needing information and guidance about disputes with school systems concerning the education of their child with a disability. Find your PTI by visiting NICHCY’s State Resource Sheet page. Select your state, set the drop-down menu to Organizations for Parents, and the resource sheet will automatically display. The PTI will be listed there.