The Bureau of Special Education Appeals , which derives its authority from both federal and Massachusetts statutes and regulations (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; “IDEA”; MGL ch.71B; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973) conducts due process hearings and renders Rulings and Decisions concerning eligibility, evaluation, placement, individualized education programs (IEP), provision of special education and procedural protections for students with disabilities.
Parents, students, school districts, private schools and state agencies in matters concerning eligibility, evaluation, placement, individualized education programs (IEPs), special education services and procedural protections for students with disabilities.
- Due Process Hearings
A formal administrative adjudicatory proceeding at which parties present evidence (testimony and documents) to a BSEA hearing officer regarding disputed issue(s). The hearing officer renders a binding written decision based on the record presented.
- Special Education Mediation is a voluntary and confidential dispute resolution process available at no cost through the BSEA. When school personnel and parents disagree about the educational needs of a student with disabilities, either party may request mediation.
In mediation, an impartial mediator helps parents and school staff clarify the issues and underlying concerns, explore interests, discuss options and collaborate to reach mutually satisfactory agreements that address the needs of the student. The mediator does not decide how to resolve the dispute. When the parties resolve all or some of the issues, they work together with the mediator to put their agreement(s) in writing.
This informal, collaborative problem-solving process encourages mutual respect, promotes communication and often provides the basis for positive working relationships between parents and school staff.
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