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Steven A. Greenburg, Education Law
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Santa Cruz, CA 95060-4567

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Parent-school disputes over special education

Parents of special needs students generally hope that they and their child’s school district will be on the same page regarding their child’s education needs and how best to meet these needs. However, parents and districts sometimes are not, and end up in disputes over the special education services provided to a child.

The U.S. sees a fair number of special education disputes. This can be seen in statistics on special-education-related complaints made by parents in the 2013-2014 school year. Reportedly, that school year saw the filing of:

  • 18,011 due process complaints.
  • 4,997 written complaints.
  • 9,688 mediation requests.

And questions have come up regarding whether, following a recent Supreme Court ruling, the nation might see even more disputes and challenges between parents and schools in relation to special education.

Such disputes could end up going many different routes. Some might end through negotiations or meetings between a parent and a school district. In others, a resolution might be reached through mediation. Others might end up having to go into due process hearings to get resolved.

Special education disputes can have many challenging emotional and financial issues connected to them. Also, what such disputes end up resulting in can have major effects on a child’s overall educational well-being. So, a parent can be filled with worries and concerns when disputes regarding special education arise with their child’s school district.

Whatever route their special education dispute ends up taking, a parent may find it very helpful to have an education lawyer’s guidance in relation to the dispute. Such attorneys can assist such parents with addressing the particular worries and concerns they have over the matter. They can also explain what options a parent has during the various stages of the dispute to try to further their goals regarding their child’s education.

Source: Star Tribune, “Expensive, grueling fights in store for US special education,” Carolyn Thompson, May 6, 2017

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