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Dispute Resolution

Parents are encouraged to contact Families Together (800-264-6343), the Disability Rights Center of Kansas (877-776-1541) other parent advocacy groups, or the Kansas State Department of Education (800-203-9462) to seek assistance.

Comparison of Compliant Resolution Services Available to Parents and Schools (PDF)

Mediation Formal Complaint Due Process

 

Mediation

Mediation is one of three formal methods of resolving disputes in special education at the local level.  Other methods are formal complaint and due process hearing.  To begin the process of mediation, both parties must agree to mediate.  Either the parents or a school representative may suggest this option initially by asking the other party if they are willing to mediate the disputed issues.  The cost of mediation is borne by the State; there are no costs to either the parents or the local school district.  Mediation is voluntary throughout the process, and a mediator has no authority to order any particular resolution, so mediation is a safe way for both parties to offer and consider alternatives.  If an agreement is reached, it is written and committed to by the parties, themselves, rather than ordered by a hearing officer or the Kansas State Department of Education.  Forms to request mediation should be available in each school district.  The building administrator, special education director, or the Mediation consultant at Special Education Services may be contacted for the forms.

Mediation Forms-English (PDF)
Mediation Forms-English (Word)
Mediation Forms-German (PDF)
Mediation Forms-German (Word)
Mediation Forms-Spanish (PDF)
Mediation Forms-Spanish (Word)
Rules of Mediation (PDF)

Formal Complaint

Any individual or organization may file a formal complaint if they believe that the school district is not complying with Federal or State laws or regulations relating to special education.  The Special Education Services Team at the Kansas State Department of Education must resolve a formal complaint within 30 calendar days from th edate the complaint is received in the office, unless exceptional circumstances exist.

Formal Complaint-English (PDF)
Formal Complaint-English (Word)
Formal Complaint-Spanish (PDF)
Formal Complaint-Spanish (Word)
Formal Complaint-German (PDF)
Formal Complaint-German (Word)
Formal Complaint-Russian (PDF)
Formal Complaint-Russian (Word)
Formal Complaint Flowchart (PDF)
Formal Complaint Flowchart (Word)

Due Process

The due process hearing provides a forum where disagreements about the identification, evaluation, educational placement, and provision of a free appropriate public education for students with exceptionalities may be adjudicated.  Although Federal regulations refer to due process rights for educators and parents of students with disabilities, in Kansas those same rights are also afforded to students with giftedness.  Every special education due process hearing and review must be provided for at no cost to the child or the parent of the child.  The costs of the initial hearing must be provided for and paid by the school district except for attorney fees.

Only as a last resort should the legal method of a special education due process hearing and appeal procedure be used.  Parents considering a request for a due process hearing are encouraged to consult with an attorney who practices in special education law.

Either the school district or the parents of an exceptional child may initiate a special education due process hearing to resolve differences about a child's identification, evaluation, educational placement, or provision of a free appropriate public education.

The due process complaint must allege a violation that occurred not more than two years before the date the parent or public agency knew or should have known about the alleged action that forms the basis of the due process complaint.  There are some exceptions to this timeline, including when a school has misrepresented that it has resolved the problem or the school has withheld information that it was legally required to give to the parent (34 C.F.R 200.507(a)(2); K.S.A. 72-972a(a)(1)(A)).

Due Process Forms for Parents

Due Process Form
English (PDF) (Word) / Spanish (PDF) (Word) / German (PDF) (Word) / Russian (PDF) (Word)

Expedited Due Process Form
English (PDF) (Word) / Spanish (PDF) (Word) / German (PDF) (Word) / Russian (PDF) (Word)

Due Process Forms for Districts
Due Process Form
English (PDF) (Word) / Spanish (PDF) (Word) / German (PDF) (Word) / Russian (PDF) (Word)
Due Process Resolution Session Tracking Form (PDF) (Word)

Expedited Due Process Form
English (PDF) (Word) / Spanish (PDF) (Word) / German (PDF) (Word) / Russian (PDF) (Word)
Expedited Due Process Resolution Session Tracking Form (PDF) (Word)

The findings and decisions in formal complaint reports and in the decisions of Kansas due process hearing officers and state review officers are available to the public for review in redacted form, upon request.  Requests may be made in writing by addressing the request to:

Special Education Services
Kansas State Department of Education
900 SW Jackson, Suite 620
Topeka, Kansas 66612

or by emailing the written request to Mark Ward or Laura Jurgensen.

Special Education Legal Questions:
Mark Ward
mward@ksde.org

Laura Jurgensen
ljurgensen@ksde.org

1-800-203-9462
(Kansas Residents Only)
or
1-785-296-7454

Problems with this page contact:
Evelyn Alden
ealden@ksde.org
(785) 296-3868

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The Kansas State Department of Education does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities. (more information...)