Special Education Hearings

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) to provide a due process hearing system to resolve disputes between parents of children with disabilities and school districts.

  • A due process hearing may be requested when a parent and a school do not agree about the identification, evaluation, educational placement, or provision of a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) to a child with a disability. 34 C.F.R. 300.507. An expedited due process hearing may be requested when there is disagreement with certain decisions regarding discipline matters. 34 C.F.R. 300.532.
  • A parent or district must request a hearing within two years of the date the party knew or should have known about the matter that is the subject of the hearing unless certain exceptions apply. 34 C.F.R. 300.511(e).
  • The party filing a due process hearing request must provide the request to the other party and a copy of the request to MDE. 34 C.F.R. 300.508. MDE will forward the request to the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH), and an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) at the OAH will conduct the hearing.

Parents and districts are encouraged to use facilitated Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings, mediation, conciliation, or another mutually agreed upon alternative process to resolve disputes before proceeding to hearing. All dispute resolution options are voluntary and provided at no cost to the parent.

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