Grant Simon


As the standards for special education students in America rise, the need to handle the resulting disputes arises as well. Special education disputes are a common yet emotional process for all parties involved. Such disputes can result in a split between the family and the school district- a split that can potentially leave negative consequences on the student. In 1975, Congress, realizing the personal nature and prevalence of special education issues, passed what would become the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The IDEA offers states federal funds to assist in educating children with disabilities. This Act also authorizes the child’s parents the right to make use of mediation for resolving these disputes. This alternative dispute resolution process for special education claims solves thousands of claims each year without having to pursue further litigation. However, in light of the recent Supreme Court decision Endrew F. v. Douglas Cty. Sch. Dist. RE-1, the Court’s new and more demanding standard of what a child’s educational goals must be could potentially change the role of mediation in special education disputes



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