Conflict Resolution

If you and your child’s school team disagree about an education issue, you have several options for conflict resolution.

Mediation

If you and your child’s school team disagree about an education issue in your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 plan, one tool that is available to you is mediation.

  • Mediation is a free, voluntary process that will be used only if you and the school agree to take part
  • The mediator’s job is to help you and the school district come to an agreement, not to make decisions for you
  • You or the school may end mediation at any time
  • A trained, impartial mediator who is not an employee of the school district will be provided by the Vermont Agency of Education to conduct the mediation

Administrative Complaint

You have the right to file an administrative complaint with the Vermont Secretary of Education if you believe a school district has violated federal or state special education laws.

  • Once you file the complaint the Vermont Agency of Education (AOE) will investigate
  • The investigation includes a review of all relevant information
  • Once this review is completed a decision is made about whether the school district has violated federal or state special education laws
  • If a violation is found, the AOE can require that the school take corrective actions to fix the problem
  • If you disagree with the decision, you have the right to request a due process hearing

Due Process Complaint

A special education due process hearing is a formal review conducted by a trained, impartial hearing officer appointed by the Vermont Agency of Education.

  • Due process complaints may be filed with the Vermont Agency of Education regarding special education and 504 issues for students
  • If you disagree with the decision of the hearing officer, you have 90 days to appeal this matter with a state or federal court
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