Compare Resolutions Options

Compare Resolution Options

Compare Michigan’s special education dispute resolution options by selecting one in each column. As you change your selection, the information below will update automatically.

To see all resolution options, download the Resolution Options in Special Education PDF.

To see all resolution options, download the Resolution Options in Special Education PDF.

Why consider?

Annual review mandated. Or as requested by parties when services aren’t meeting student needs.

The IEP facilitator can help support the full participation of all parties. Facilitation can be requested for any IEP but is most helpful when relationships are strained or group is large and team prefers to concentrate on content and turn over process (meeting) management.

Mediation provides a positive, less adversarial approach to resolving disputes between parents and school systems.

Allows parties to draft agreement. Mediation helps improve relationships and communication between parties.

To address violations of the IDEA and MARSE, including issues of identification, eligibility, placement, free appropriate public education (FAPE), financial obligations and discipline.

To address violations of IDEA and MARSE, including issues of identification, eligibility, placement, free appropriate public education (FAPE), financial obligations and discipline.

Who participate?

IEP Team (parents, school personnel)

The IEP Team and neutral facilitator.

Parties to an identified area (s) of disagreement and impartial mediator; The public agency must ensure that the representative participating in mediation has the authority to enter into a binding agreement on behalf of the District.

Any party can file. Investigation conducted by MDE in collaboration with ISD with corrective action plan created if needed by MDE.

Any party can file. Investigation conducted by MDE in collaboration with ISD with corrective action plan created if needed by MDE.

When?

Annually or when requested.

When requested by any party. Both school and parent must agree.

Requested by any party for any identified area of dispute any time during special education services provision.

Can be filed on for potential violations within one year.

Can be filed for potential violations within two years.

How long?

Time required to complete process.

Time required to complete process.

Scheduled on the first mutually agreed upon date. This is usually between 7-21 days.

Required to complete within 60 days unless there is an approved extension due to exceptional circumstances or mediation.

The IDEA 75 day deadline includes:

30 day resolution period (includes 15 days to schedule resolution meeting).

45 days to complete the process, unless extension granted by ALJ.

Where?

School or vitually

School or vitually

Mutually convenient site or virtual platform

Investigation process.

Locally-in-person.

How?

School schedules at a mutually agreed upon time.

Any party requests, school schedules at a mutually agreed upon time. Contact SEMS @ 833- KIDS1ST (833- 543-7178) or the SEMS website (mikids1st.org) or through state or due process complaint filing.

Any party requests. Contact SEMS @ 833-KIDS1ST (833- 543-7178) or the SEMS website (mikids1st.org) or through state or due process complaint filing.

Party files following MDE requirements.

Party files following MDE requirements.

School convenes a resolution session within 15 days. Parties may opt to:

  1. Hold resolution session (RS) w/ facilitator (SEMS).
  2. Waive RS and go to due process.
  3. Hold RS w/o assistance.
  4. Waive RS and request mediation (SEMS).

What happens?

Meeting conducted by participants (usually school led).

Meeting conducted by participants (usually school led) and the facilitator clarifies points of agreement and disagreement and can model effective communication and listening for the IEP team members. The facilitator does not impose a decision on the group and is not a team member.

With the assistance of a skilled and impartial mediator, the parties involved in the dispute can communicate openly and respectfully about their differences as they try to reach accord or compromise. The decision-making power resides with the participants in mediation.

Investigation of allegations by phone; interview, investigatory questionnaires, document review, and on-site visits, if necessary.

Each party has the opportunity to present their views in a formal legal setting, using witnesses, testimony, documents, and legal arguments that they believe are important for the hearing officer to consider. This process may include pre- conference phone calls. Since the due process hearing is a legal proceeding, a party will often choose to be represented by an attorney.

What results?

IEP for student based on most current evaluation results.

IEP for student based on most current evaluation results.

An agreement reached by the parties must be set forth in a written mediation agreement.

Discussions that occur during the mediation process must be confidential. They may not be used as evidence in any subsequent due process hearings or civil proceedings.

Mediated agreements are enforceable in any court of competent jurisdiction. Can be attached or made part of and IEP and can serve as an amendment to an IEP.

A written decision by MDE, with collaboration of the ISD that addresses each allegation and includes the reasons for MDE’s final decision. Reports include findings of facts, conclusion, decisions, and corrective action, if required.

If the MDE finds that the school system has failed to provide appropriate services, the MDE must address the failure, including corrective action if appropriate to address the needs of the child and future provision of services for all students.

ALJ issues a final decision and order and a copy of that decision is mailed to each of the parties.

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