Special Education Dispute Resolution Processes

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The Texas Education Agency (TEA) offers multiple processes for resolving disputes related to special education: individualized education program facilitation (FIEP), mediation, special education complaints, and due process hearings. Links to information for these processes are below.

IEP Facilitation

IEP facilitation serves as a means of preventing disputes related to special education programs and services and serves as an alternative dispute resolution process for issues related to special education. For more information about the state’s IEP facilitation program, see Individualized Education Program Facilitation (FIEP).

Special Education Complaints

If you believe a public agency, including TEA, has violated federal or state requirements related to special education, you may file a special education complaint with TEA.  For more information about the state’s special education complaints process, see Special Education Complaints Process.

Mediation

TEA offers mediation to parties who have a disagreement involving the educational program for a student with a disability. Mediation is voluntary, meaning that both parties must agree to participate in mediation. TEA provides information about mediation each time it receives a special education complaint or a due process hearing request, but parents and local educational agencies (LEAs) may request mediation at any time. For more information about mediation, see the Office of Legal Services, Special Education Mediation Program.

Due Process Hearings

A special education due process hearing is a formal legal process similar to going to trial in a court. A district or parent may request a due process hearing when a parent and the district do not agree about the identification, evaluation, educational placement or services of a student with a disability or when the parties disagree on the provision of a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to the student. For more information about due process hearings, see the Office of Legal Services, Special Education Due Process Hearing Program.

Special Education Dispute Resolution Handbook 

More detailed information about the processes above can be found in TEA’s Special Education Dispute Resolution Handbook. 

The English version of the Special Education Dispute Resolution Handbook may be found by clicking here: Special Education Dispute Resolution Handbook.   

The Spanish version of the Special Education Dispute Resolution Handbook may be found by clicking here: AGENCIA DE EDUCACIÓN DE TEXAS MANUAL DE LOS SISTEMAS PARA RESOLUCIÓN DE CONFLICTOS DE EDUCACIÓN ESPECIAL.

The agency can provide copies of the Special Education Dispute Resolution Handbook in other languages as needed.