The department offers mediation to parents and local education agencies as a voluntary process for the resolution of special education disputes. The Wisconsin Special Education Mediation System (WSEMS) is funded through a DPI discretionary grant. WSEMS offers mediation and facilitated IEP meetings at no cost to either party.
IDEA State Complaint
Any individual or organization may file a complaint with the Department of Public Instruction if they believe a public agency has violated state or federal special education requirements. The department must investigate a complaint and issue a written decision within 60 days. DPI verifies all identified noncompliance is corrected within one year.
Due Process Hearing
Either the parent, adult student with a disability or the school district has the right to request a due process hearing. Within 15 days of receiving notice of the hearing request, the LEA must convene a meeting with the parents/adult student and relevant members of the IEP team to attempt a resolution. DPI monitors the timeline to ensure compliance with the 15-day timeline. When a due process hearing is requested, the department, by contract with the Division of Hearings and Appeals, appoints an impartial hearing officer to conduct the hearing.