File due process
Parents and local education agency/school district (LEAs) can use due process to resolve their IEP disputes. If the parents and LEA cannot agree regarding an IEP-related dispute, the parents may and/or the LEA (in many cases) can choose to file a due process complaint and ask a hearing officer (administrative law judge) to resolve the dispute. Either party can also appeal an adverse decision to a federal or state court. Under the IDEA, parents have the right to pursue their attorney’s fees if they become the prevailing party in a special education administrative or court proceeding. When a parent files for due process, the law requires that the parents and LEA attend a resolution session where the parties can discuss ideas on how to resolve their differences. The parents and LEA can also decide to voluntarily attend a confidential mediation conference where a publicly funded, third party mediator is present to help facilitate a settlement of the case if possible. The parents can also file a compliance complaint through their state’s complaints resolution process/procedure (CRP) for certain procedural violations with their state’s Department of Education if the LEA has failed to adhere its legal obligations to properly implement the child’s IEP, or violated another of the parent or child’s procedural rights, such as failing to meet a timeline for an IEP meeting or assessment.