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INFORMATIONAL LETTER: 121
POLICY CODE: J1A

 

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

FROM:            Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

DATE:             April 5, 2006

RE:                   Addendum to Informational Letter #12:  Written Resolution Agreements

            In August 2005, the Maine Department of Education issued Informational Letter #12 to advise you of changes in due process hearing requirements that went into effect July 1, 2005, following the enactment of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) of 2004.

            One of the changes in the statute, found in Section 615(f)(1)(B)(iii), addressed Resolution Session -- WRITTEN 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.

            When drafting such an agreement it is important to remember that it becomes a legally binding document, enforceable in State or federal court, if neither party elects to void the agreement within the 3 business day review period, described in §615(f)(1)(B)(iv). Thus, the language used in the agreement should be clear and concise.  Also, the agreement must be signed, and should be dated by both parties, as well, to indicate the start of the 3–day clock.

            Informational Letter #12 included, as an attachment, a form developed by the Due Process Office (DPO) entitled “Notification to Maine Department of Education of Resolution Meeting Status,” that was to be completed by the local educational agency (LEA).  That form has been revised to reflect a change in the DPO’s requirement for notification with respect to Resolution Agreements (see Attachment below).  A representative of the LEA is now required, when submitting a completed copy of the notification form to the Due Process Office, to include a copy of the signed and dated written Resolution Agreement, if such an agreement has been reached.  

            Please contact the Due Process Office by e-mail at: patricia.neumeyer@maine.gov or by telephone at 624-6644 with questions about the content of this memo.

Attachment