Situations may arise where parents or other family members believe a school has violated federal or state law. The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) Office for Exceptional Children (OEC) and Office of Early Learning and School Readiness (EL&SR) encourage parents, family members and schools to work together to resolve differences.
Mediation is a voluntary process for resolving disputes between two parties. For mediation to occur, both sides must agree to mediate. The mediation process is facilitated by a trained impartial third party, the mediator, who helps the parties communicate with each other about their concerns in an effort to reach a mutually acceptable solution.
ODE has instituted effective complaint investigation procedures, allowing issues to be resolved in a timely manner. ODE reviews written and signed allegations concerning violations of state or federal special education law. Below are links for information and the necessary forms for filing a complaint.
- Formal Written Complaint Form ( PDF / Word )
- For additional guidance and procedures about formal written complaints, click here.
Parents, school districts or other agencies (e.g., county boards of developmental disabilities, Department of Youth Services) may request an impartial due process hearing to resolve disagreements about the identification, evaluation and placement of a student or the provision of free appropriate public education (FAPE). The hearing is conducted by an impartial hearing officer who is appointed by ODE. Below are links for information and the necessary forms to request a due process hearing. The requesting party may use the form provided or may submit his/her own written due process complaint notice and hearing request.
Legal Services for Low Income Ohioans