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INFORMATIONAL LETTER: 12

POLICY CODE:   JI A

 

TO:                  Superintendents of Schools; CDS Site Directors; MADSEC; Disability Rights Center; Maine Parent Federation

FROM:            Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner of Education

DATE:             August 15, 2005

RE:                  Resolution Sessions

In the recently enacted Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) of 2004, Section 615(f)(1)(B), it states          

(B) RESOLUTION SESSION.—

(i) PRELIMINARY MEETING.—Prior to the opportunity for an impartial due process hearing under subparagraph (A), the local educational agency shall convene a meeting with the parents and the relevant member or members of the IEP Team who have specific knowledge of the facts identified in the complaint

(I) within 15 days of receiving notice of the parents’ complaint;

(II) which shall include a representative of the agency who has decisionmaking authority on behalf of such agency;

(III) which may not include an attorney of the local educational agency unless the parent is accompanied by an attorney; and

(IV) where the parents of the child discuss their complaint, and the facts that form the basis of the complaint, and the local educational agency is provided the opportunity to resolve the complaint, unless the parents and the local educational agency agree in writing to waive such meeting, or agree to use the mediation process described in subsection (e).

(ii) HEARING.—If the local educational agency has not resolve the complaint to the satisfaction of the parents within 30 days of the receipt of the complaint, the due process hearing may occur, and all of the applicable timelines for a due process hearing under this part shall commence.

(iii) WRITTEN SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT.—In the case that a resolution is reached to resolve the complaint at a meeting described in clause (i), the parties shall execute a legally binding agreement that is—

(I) signed by both the parent and a representative of the agency who has the authority to bind such agency; and

(II) enforceable in any State court of competent jurisdiction or in a district court of the United States.

(iv) REVIEW PERIOD.—If the parties execute an agreement pursuant to clause (iii), a party may void such agreement within 3 business days of the agreement’s execution.

The local educational agency (LEA) is responsible for:

If a recipient of this memorandum has questions about the content of this memo, please contact the Due Process Office by e-mail at patricia.neumeyer@maine.gov or by phone at 624-6644.

(See enclosed form for notification of the SEA of the status of the resolution session.)