ADE Director's Communication Memo Form

Memo Number : ACC-99-056

Date Created : 04/16/1999


Co-op Directors
Secondary Principals
Elementary Principals
Middle School Principals
High School Principals
other: LEA Supervisors

Type of Memo: Informational
Response Required: No
Section:   Accountability - Dr. Charity Smith
Special Education Programs, Use of Attorneys in Mediation

Regulatory Authority:
Public Law 94-142, As Amended

Contact Person:
James R. Gowen, Jr.

Phone Number:


The purpose of this memorandum is to notify school officials that, EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, attorneys will no longer be permitted to participate in the mediation process mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for the purpose of resolving special education disputes.

Mediation is a process offered by the Arkansas Department of Education whereby parents and school districts come together in a confidential setting to discuss any problems regarding the provision of special education and related services to a child with disabilities. To assist in this process, the Department makes available trained and impartial mediators who can help foster an acceptable resolution to those problems, while maintaining an atmosphere of cooperation between the parties.

Previously, the Department anticipated that use of the mediation process by the parties to a disagreement would increase if attorneys were allowed to participate. However, that has not been the case. In fact, from the time the Department decided to allow attorneys to participate in mediation conferences, the use of mediation has drastically decreased. Consequently, attorneys will no longer be allowed to participate in the mediation process.

If you have any questions, contact the individual listed above.


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