Highlights: IDEA Dispute Resolution Activity in Selected States Varied Based on School Districts’ Characteristics

From The GAO: For More Info, Go Here…

For the Full Report, Go Here

What GAO Found

In school year 2016-17, 35,142 special education disputes were filed nationwide, and in five selected states GAO reviewed, dispute resolution options varied across school districts with different socioeconomic and demographic characteristics.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides parents several ways to file and resolve disputes about plans and services that school districts provide to students with disabilities.

A greater proportion of very high-income school districts had dispute resolution activity as well as higher rates of dispute activity than very low-income districts in most of the five states GAO reviewed. GAO also found that in most of these states, a smaller proportion of predominately Black and/or Hispanic districts had dispute resolution activity compared to districts with fewer minority students; however, predominately Black and/or Hispanic districts generally had higher rates of such activity.

Technical assistance providers and others told GAO that parents used dispute resolution most often for issues related to school decisions about evaluations, placement, services and supports, and discipline of their children.

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