Forms to Request Special Education Mediation

Forms to Request Special Education Mediation

Attached is a sample Request for Special Education Mediation form to provide parents and school districts the opportunity to request mediation. Mediation is a voluntary process in which the parent or guardian of a student with a disability and a representative of the school district meet with a mediator to resolve disputes. The mediator is a specially trained and objective individual who assists the parties in reaching a legally binding agreement. Mediation does not diminish or limit the rights of a parent, including the right to request an impartial hearing. The attached form should be used if the parent is requesting mediation prior to a request for an impartial due process hearing.

The school district must make mediation available to allow the parent and the school district to resolve disagreements involving any matter under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (referral, evaluation, placement of a student or provision of a free appropriate public education), including matters arising prior to the filing of a due process complaint. Mediation is conducted by a qualified and impartial mediator who is trained in effective mediation techniques. Mediation is voluntary; therefore both the school district and parent must agree to participate in the process. Mediation is arranged through the school district with a Community Dispute Resolution Center (CDRC). Each meeting in the mediation process must be scheduled in a timely manner and held at a place that is convenient for the parent and the school district. The New York State Education Department is responsible for the cost of the mediation process.

If the parent and the school district resolve a dispute through the mediation process, both parties must enter into a legally binding agreement that sets forth the resolution and states that all discussions during the mediation process must remain confidential and may not be used as evidence in any subsequent due process hearing or civil proceeding; and is signed by both the parent and a representative of the school district who has the authority to bind the school district. A written, signed mediation agreement is enforceable in any State court of competent jurisdiction or in a district court of the United States.

NYSED General Information: (518) 474-3852

New York State Education Building
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12234


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