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PROCEDURAL SAFEGUARDS NOTICE

VI.  MEDIATION (34 CFR §300.506)

A.

GENERAL

The SEA must make mediation available to allow you and the LEA to resolve disagreements involving any matter under Part B of the IDEA, including matters arising prior to the filing of a due process complaint. Thus, mediation is available to resolve disputes under Part B of the IDEA, whether or not you or the LEA have filed a due process complaint to request a due process hearing as described under the heading Filing a Due Process Complaint.

B.

PROCEDURAL REQUIREMENTS

The procedures must ensure that the mediation process:

1.

Is voluntary on your part and the LEA’s part;

2.

Is not used to deny or delay your right to a due process hearing, or to deny any other rights you have under Part B of the IDEA; and

3.

Is conducted by a qualified and impartial mediator who is trained in effective mediation techniques.

4.

The SEA must maintain a list of people you are qualified mediators and are knowledgeable in the laws and regulations relating to the provision of special education and related services. The SEA must select mediators on a random, rotational, or other impartial basis.

5.

The State is responsible for the cost of the mediation process, including the costs of meetings.

6.

Each session in the mediation process must be scheduled in a timely manner and held at a place that is convenient for you and the LEA.

7.

If you and the LEA resolve a dispute through the mediation process, both parties must enter into a legally binding agreement that sets forth the resolution and that:

a.

States that all discussions that happened during the mediation process will remain confidential and may not be used as evidence in any subsequent due process hearing or civil proceeding; and

b.

Is signed by both you and a representative of the LEA who has the authority to bind the LEA.

8.

A written, signed mediation agreement is enforceable in any State court of competent jurisdiction (a court that has the authority under State law to hear this type of case) or in a district court of the United States.

9.

Discussions that happened during the mediation process must be confidential. They cannot be used as evidence in any future due process hearing or civil proceeding of any Federal court or State Court of a State receiving assistance under Part B of IDEA.

C.

IMPARTIALITY OF MEDIATOR

The mediator:

1.

May not be an employee of the SEA or the LEA that is involved in the education or care of your child; and

2.

Must not have a personal or professional interest which conflicts with the mediator’s objectivity.

A person who otherwise qualifies as a mediator is not an employee of a LEA or SEA solely because he or she is paid by the agency to serve as a mediator.

18July 2008 Revisions

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