Parents of a student receiving special education services who disagree with decisions made by the school regarding a student's identification, eligibility, evaluation, Individualized Education Program (IEP) or placement have three options available for resolving disputes with the school. These options include mediation, due process hearing and administrative complaint.
Mediation is a free, voluntary process that will be used only if
you and the school agree to take part. The mediator's job is to
help you and the school district come to an agreement, not to
make decisions for you. You or the school may end mediation at
any time. Agreeing to mediation will not delay or deny access to
a due process hearing, and you may ask for mediation at any time,
either before or after you request a hearing. The Agency of
Education will offer mediation when you or the school asks for a
due process hearing, but you are not required to accept it.
Mediation will be scheduled at a time and place convenient to you
and the school district.
A trained, impartial mediator who is not an employee of the
school district and has no conflict of interest with your
situation will conduct the mediation. The Vermont Agency of
Education has a list of qualified mediators who are assigned, on
a rotating basis, to work with parents and school staff. You and
the school district may agree on a different mediator. You may
bring an advocate, support person and/or family members to
mediation. Your school district may bring its lawyer but only if
you bring one, too. The information that you and the school
district discuss during mediation is confidential. What you and
the school district say cannot be repeated in a later due process
hearing or court proceeding. If you and the school district reach
an agreement, it will be put in writing and become part of your
student's permanent education records.
Mediation may be requested in writing using the form provided
by writing a letter to the Secretary.
If writing a letter to the Commissioner, you must include all of
the information required by the mediation form below. For
questions or concerns about the process, contact the Agency of Education's legal section
NOTICE: The Request for Mediation Form and the
Mediation Evaluation Form must be downloaded to your
computer in order to work properly. Filling out these forms
inside your web browser, not downloaded, will result in your
information not being sent to us.
Due Process System Information & Forms
A special education due process hearing is a formal review
conducted by a trained, impartial hearing officer appointed by
the Vermont Agency of Education. Due process complaints may be
filed with the department regarding special education and 504
issues for students.
Two separate forms have been developed for filing a due process
complaint; one for parents and one for school districts. A
hearing may be requested in writing using the form(s) provided
below or by writing a letter to the Secretary.
If writing a letter to the Secretary, you must include all of the
information required by the relevant regulations and the due
process complaint form(s) below. For questions or concerns about
the process, contact the Agency of Education's
Due Process Hearing Officer Decisions
Use the links below to access individual case decisions. These decisions might be used as resources for parent
advocates, school administrators, special education attorneys, or
by other states.
2010 - 2011
2007 - 2009
Available upon request.
You have the right to file an administrative complaint with the
Vermont Secretary of Education if you believe a school district
has violated federal or state special education laws. An
organization or a group of parents may also file a complaint if
it believes that there are violations affecting a number of
students. The Commissioner will appoint department staff to
investigate the complaint, and a decision must be issued within
60 days of receipt of the complaint, unless an extension is
granted. You will receive a copy of the decision.
To investigate the complaint, the Agency of Education may, but is
not required to, conduct an on-site review. The department will
also give you an opportunity to present additional information,
orally or in writing. Its staff will review all relevant
information and make a decision about whether the school district
has violated federal or state special education laws. If your
administrative complaint is also the subject of a due process
hearing, the department will not investigate any part of the
complaint that is being addressed as part of the due process
hearing until the conclusion of the hearing. The due process
hearing decision is binding.
To File an
To file an administrative complaint, an individual may download,
fill in and mail the form below, or may write a letter to the
Secretary. If writing a letter to the Secretary, you must include
all of the information required by the relevant regulations and
the administrative complaint form below. Send the completed form
or letter to:
Secretary of Education
Vermont Agency of Education
219 North Main Street, Suite 402
Barre, VT 05641
For Questions or Additional Assistance
If you are unable to write, you may use
other means of communication to request mediation, due process or
an administrative complaint. Contact the Agency of Education's
legal section at (802) 479-1111 or AOE.MediationDPinfo@vermont.gov
Page Last Updated on July 27, 2015