All parents can and should participate meaningfully in their children’s education, including those whose children receive special education services. Research demonstrates that parent/family involvement significantly contributes to improved student outcomes. Engagement between family members and educators is seen through coordinated efforts as well as joint agenda setting and decision-making and is evidenced by higher levels of trust.

Using Conflict Resolution to Empower Educators, Empower Parents, Guarantee Due Process, Address Discrimination and Achieve Educational Goals

Justice afforded by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”), is largely dependent on: 1) the parent’s and educator’s knowledge of the responsibilities and limitations under this law and others, and 2) the parent’s and educator’s ability to effectively advocate their respective positions for the student and work together productively to either prevent disputes or resolve them when they arise. While IDEA specifically requires the dissemination of “procedural safeguards” and school district personnel are specifically trained in special education, little importance is given to...

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