It’s easy to get lost in the mountains of paperwork and miles of red tape that comes with the special education process. And it seems like there’s always one more hurdle to clear before your child gets access to the services he needs. After you file a due process complaint about your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), you can’t automatically jump right to the due process hearing, for example. First, you’ll need to attend the resolution meeting, which is similar to mediation. The purpose of the resolution meeting is to hammer out an agreement so that both parties can (possibly) avoid the due process hearing. You’ll have lots of prep work to do to get ready for the meeting, so here’s a quick guide to the basics.
When the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was reauthorized in 2004 by President George Bush, resolution meetings became a mandatory part of due process. The school district must hold a resolution meeting within 15 days after you have filed for due process. Essentially, a resolution session is like mediation, but there is no neutral third party present. Its purpose is to discuss the complaint and to negotiate an agreement.