If you’re in a dispute with your child’s school about your child’s special education services and supports, you should first try to resolve the issue with your child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) team by asking for an IEP meeting.
If there is a problem that you haven’t been able to fix with the IEP team, there are safeguards in place to help you protect your rights and your children’s rights to access special education services.
One of these safeguards is the right to formal conflict resolution. Conflict resolution includes:
Each of the options has advantages and disadvantages and specific rules. It is important to choose the option that you think will help solve your issue. Make sure you carefully research the rules.
Pursuing any conflict resolution proceeding is often not a quick fix to solving the problem with your child’s school. It may require several months’ worth of effort and time before a resolution is reached. The process also requires a deep understanding of the rules and laws that apply.
You should know that no one can retaliate against you just because you decide to pursue formal conflict resolution. If you feel like you are being retaliated against for pursuing mediation, a due process hearing, or by filing a complaint with ISBE, you should contact the Office for Civil Rights.