The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and its implementing regulations require states to have a system to resolve disputes between parents of students with disabilities and local school districts.
There are three processes found at 707 KAR 1:340 through which the parties may resolve IDEA disputes:
Formal Written Complaint
Due Process Hearing
An explanation of each process, along with the model forms used to request each process can be found below.
Mediation is a voluntary and non-adversarial dispute resolution process. The meeting is facilitated by an impartial trained mediator and is focused on the needs of the student. The parent and district meet and work together to settle the dispute and develop a final agreement.
A successful mediation can help preserve good relationships between the parties involved. Mediation can be requested at any time and does not rule out the use of the formal written complaint or due process hearing.
District staff and parents having disagreements over programs for children with disabilities may contact David Wickersham
at 502-564-4474 for more information on these processes.
Formal Written Complaints
A formal written complaint is a written statement alleging that a school district has violated a requirement of state or federal special education law.
A formal written complaint must be:
- Filed with DLS within one year of the alleged violation
- May be filed by a parent of a student with a disability or by any organization or person who believes IDEA has been violated
A formal written complaint should not address the following issues:
- Violations of civil rights related to a disability Section 504 issues
- Claims of child abuse or neglect
- Or matters under the sole authority of the local school district, such as employment of a teacher, assignments of teachers, or pupil assignments).
Although the above issues may involve violations of the law, a formal written complaint addresses only procedural violations of IDEA.
Download the KDE, Division of Learning Services Formal Written Complaint Form
Due Process Hearings
A due process hearing is an adversarial process in which a hearing officer resolves IDEA disagreements between parents and the school districts. The hearing may be requested on any matter involving:
- Educational placement and services, and
- The provision of a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)
A due process hearing must be requested in writing and must be filed within three (3) years of the date the parent or district knew or should have known about the issue. State statute sets out three (3) exceptions to the time limit, all related to omissions or misrepresentations by the school district.
Before a hearing may be held, the parties are required to hold a Resolution Meeting so that the district has an opportunity to resolve the dispute that led to the hearing request. The Resolution Meeting is not held if the parties agree to Mediation or if the parties agree to waive the meeting.
Link to the Due Process Hearing Request form: