Resolving education disputes
1 / 30

Resolving Education Disputes - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Updated On :

Resolving Education Disputes. Scott F. Johnson. About Me. Professor of Law at Concord Law School Hearing Officer with NH Dept. of Education NHEdLaw, LLC Education Law Resource Center Overview.

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Resolving Education Disputes' - tom

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript

About me l.jpg
About Me

  • Professor of Law at Concord Law School

  • Hearing Officer with NH Dept. of Education

  • NHEdLaw, LLC

  • Education Law Resource Center

Overview l.jpg

  • Talk primarily about basic ways to resolve disputes under IDEA

  • Talk about some changes in IDEIA

  • Tips for trying a case

  • Talk about some specific mediation approaches and ways to resolve disputes

  • This PowerPoint is available at

Ideia l.jpg

  • Will cover three ways to resolve disputes: neutral evaluation, mediation, due process/court.

  • Some changes to dispute resolution in IDEIA

  • Mostly in the area relating to due process hearings in terms of process and notice.

Disputes l.jpg

  • Can arise at any time during the special education process:

    • Referral, evaluation, eligibility, IEP, placement, delivery of services

  • Try to resolve at local level

  • Parents or school can request mediation, neutral evaluation or due process.

  • Schools can also request facilitated IEP meeting.

Mediation l.jpg

  • Parties try to resolve differences with the help of a trained, neutral third party

  • Confidential

  • Provided at no cost to the parties

  • If agree, becomes binding, written agreement that is enforceable in court

  • Different methods can be used to help resolve disputes (discussed in detail in a minute)

Ideia7 l.jpg

  • Now requires states to offer mediation at the outset

  • Can request just mediation or mediation and due process

  • NH has offered it for sometime now and schedules it when a hearing is requested

Due process l.jpg
Due process

  • Adversarial proceeding

  • Witnesses, attorneys, hearing officer

  • Parties have certain rights defined by statute in terms of presenting evidence, cross-examining witnesses, establishing a record and appealing.

  • Hearing officer makes a decision

  • Loser can appeal to state or federal court

  • Attorney’s fees

Ideia10 l.jpg

  • New law now requires the parties to have a “resolution meeting” before going to hearing when parent requests due process.

  • Must happen in 15 days of request for hearing.

  • Like an IEP meeting, but a person with decision-making authority to resolve the dispute must attend.

  • Discuss the request for due process and school is given a chance to resolve the issues.

Ideia11 l.jpg

  • If agree, written settlement agreement

  • Buyers remorse for 3 days – both sides

  • School attorneys cannot attend unless parent attorney attends

  • Parties can waive the meeting requirement by agreement or substitute mediation for it

  • If can’t agree go to hearing or mediation/neutral evaluation

Ideia12 l.jpg

  • Law requires parties to be more specific in their requests for due process

  • Can’t raise things that were not in the request

  • Other party can ask for more information if request not sufficient – sufficiency hearings

  • Idea is to put parties on notice of the issues to be addressed at hearing

Neutral evaluation l.jpg
Neutral evaluation

  • Opinion from hearing officer about strengths and weaknesses

  • Present limited evidence in writing and make arguments.

  • Hearing officer makes recommendation on how they would rule. Parties can accept or reject.

  • Not bound if reject

  • Process is confidential

Mediation approaches l.jpg
Mediation Approaches

Positional negotiation

  • Develop a position and insist the other person agree to it.

  • Start at an extreme and work towards the middle

  • Start near actual position and hold until the other person comes close enough to it

Positional negotiation l.jpg
Positional negotiation

  • Involves strength and weaknesses of the case.

  • Each side attacks the other’s position and case.

  • Threaten action if other person does not come to your position.

Mediation approaches19 l.jpg
Mediation Approaches

Problem Solving Approach

  • View things as a shared problem to be resolved by both sides.

  • More work.

  • Can produce a better, longer lasting outcome.

Problem solving approach l.jpg
Problem Solving Approach

Seven Elements

  • Relationship between the parties

  • Communication between the parties

  • Each party’s Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA)

  • Interests of the parties

  • Creative options

  • Standards of Legitimacy

  • Commitment

Relationships l.jpg

  • Perhaps the most important part

  • Working on it has its own intrinsic value and corollary benefits

  • Treat others with respect

  • Work on the relationship

Common relationship builders l.jpg
Common relationship builders

  • Bring food and drinks to meetings

  • Be courteous

  • Don’t retaliate

  • Don’t personalize

  • Don’t blame

  • Don’t yell

  • Express feelings but calmly

Scott s crazy ideas l.jpg
Scott’s Crazy Ideas

  • Try to get to know the person.

  • Meet outside of school and do something unrelated to special education.

  • Invite the other person to do something with a project, school committee or outside of school group or committee.

Communication l.jpg

  • All participants have to really listen.

  • Active listening

  • Acknowledge things you agree with

  • Clarify and confirm what speaker said

  • Empathize

Batna l.jpg

  • Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement.

  • What you could obtain without an agreement from the other person.

  • Figure out the BATNA of others that are involved.

  • Both sides want to work to an agreement that is better then their BATNA.

Interests of the parties l.jpg
Interests of the Parties

  • Have to get to the underlying concerns.

  • What the person “really wants.”

  • Have to figure it out for all involved.

  • Not always the specific solution on the table.

  • That might just be the position.

For example, an out of district placement could be an interest in ensuring a child reads.

Creative solutions l.jpg
Creative Solutions

  • Not always obvious at first

  • Brainstorm

    • Don’t evaluate

    • Don’t attach to a suggestion to early

  • Talk through possible solutions with pros and cons

  • Look for the solution that is a mutual gain for all involved.

Legitimacy l.jpg

  • Interests and options must be legitimate.

  • Something the system and process can provide

  • Bounds of legitimacy depend on the situation.

  • With special education some of those bounds are legal ones.

  • Others are fairness, reasonableness and the interests of the parties within their legal and ethical boundaries.

Commitment l.jpg

  • Occurs at the end

  • Articulate precisely what each person is committing to.

  • Works well with settlement agreement process.