Conflicts in Special Education

Our Vision
To provide responsive leadership to support schools and families and to protect the rights of all students.

Our Mission
We serve the education system with professional integrity by:
  •     Assessing and investigating allegations of student maltreatment.
  •     Facilitating the resolution of special education disputes and other student issues.
  •     Advocating and demonstrating best practices for the use of special education funds.
  •     Training and guiding special education leadership through the monitoring process to ensure compliance.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
The IDEA guarantees the special education rights of more than 130,000 Minnesota children with disabilities. As required by the IDEA, the division provides general program oversight to districts and administers the mediation, complaint, and hearing systems.

Alternative Dispute Resolution
Mediation and facilitated team meetings are informal, voluntary processes to help resolve disagreements about a student’s special education program. An impartial third party helps parents and schools work toward a solution to their differences while keeping the focus on the student’s needs.

Find resources for when a student is removed from school for disciplinary reasons, including a summary of the Pupil Fair Dismissal Act.

If you feel that your or your student has been the victim of discrimination, you can file a complaint with your school district, with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights or with the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.

Parental Rights
The parental rights notice (also called procedural safeguards) provides an overview of your parental special education rights.

Section 504 Plans 
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal civil rights statute that protects a student with a disability from discrimination.

Special Education Complaints
A written special education complaint may be filed if it is believed that a district has violated federal or state special education requirements. Read more about filing a special education complaint.

Special Education Hearings
A due process hearing may be requested to resolve disputes relating to the identification, evaluation, placement, or the provision of a free appropriate education (FAPE) to a child with a disability and certain discipline matters.

Student Maltreatment
This unit investigates reports of alleged physical abuse, neglect or sexual abuse of children that occur in Minnesota public schools by school employees.