Disputes - Educating Children with Disabilities

Dispute Process

Schools and parents often disagree over what constitutes a FAPE and over creating and implementing 504 plans and IEPs. Some likely grounds for dispute are:

  1. The school refuses your request to evaluate your child.

  2. You disagree with the results of the school's evaluation.  
  3. The school district refuses your request for an IEE.
  4. You do not consent to evaluation or services.
  5. The school's evaluation was inadequate.
  6. The school's plan or services are inadequate.
  7. School discipline doesn't account for a disability.

The mechanism for resolving a dispute depends upon what kind of a plan is in place. For example, the mechanisms under IDEA are stronger than those under Section 504. Under IDEA, with an IEP, you may be able to file for due process, request mediation, file an OCR complaint, or file a state level complaint. Under Section 504, with a 504 plan, you can ask for an impartial administrative hearing or file an OCR complaint. Usually, you must try to resolve disagreements administratively at the lowest level either with the school or school district before formal complaints will be seriously considered.


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Links to special education articles
IDEA & Section 504ConceptsFair and Appropriate Public EducationChild FindKinds of SchoolsPublic SchoolsPrivate SchoolsSpecial SchoolsDisability Evaluating and Assessingby Parent Requestby School RequestIndependent Educational EvaluationOngoing EvaluationsSpecial Education and Related ServicesSection 504 PlanIndividualized Educational ProgramExtended School YearTransition PlanDispute ProcessDue ProcessState ComplaintOffice of Civil RightsAdministrative AppealMediationDiscplineChange of PlacementManifestation DeterminationInterim Alternative Educational SettingTerms and Definitions

Because of the generality of the information on this site, it may not apply to a given place, time, or set of facts. It is not intended to be legal advice, and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations