This process refers to special education mediation required under federal law. While states are required to offer a process that meets the statutory and regulatory requirements, there is considerable flexibility as to how states provide mediation services. This flexibility includes the selection, training and evaluation of practitioners who serve in the role of mediator and the manner in which the program is administered. State education agencies typically provide this process through one of four different approaches. Most states contract individually with private practitioners, a few states contract with their state-wide network of community mediation programs, and others contract with an organizational provider, such as a different state agency or institution of higher learning, often accessing institutional expertise in mediation and dispute resolution. Two states contract with a for-profit mediation firm through an RFP process. 



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