We want to empower you by providing knowledge about the educational system in which you and your child are navigating. Mission Empower believes knowledge is power! As you understand more about your child’s rights for a free and appropriate public education, you will become more confident to be an equal, empowered partner with your child’s school.
Do You Know Your Rights?
As a parent of a child with a disability, it is challenging and often frustrating when working with teachers and other school administrators. Do you know that your child has many rights in the classroom? We have listed some of the key rights that you and your child have that you may be unaware of.
Learn more about parent’s and children’s rights in the classroom
Resolving Problems with Your Child’s School
We have outlined some steps that you can take to resolve any problems with your child’s school.
Read more about resolving problems with your child’s school
- If your child is not receiving the services listed on the IEP, or if the school district does not comply with timelines or procedures, you should FILE A COMPLAINT with the State’s Bureau of Special Education. Send them a letter explaining your concerns. The state has 60 days to investigate and resolve the complaint. Send your complaint to:
Bureau of Special Education
333 Market Street
Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
- If you cannot reach agreement with school officials, or have already had several meetings, you can request MEDIATION. Mediation is voluntary on the part of parents and school districts but can often be quite helpful. A trained, impartial person is assigned by the state to meet with both sides to help find a resolution. Attorneys are not permitted in mediations. For information, contact the Special Education Mediation Service at 800-992-4334.
- If Mediation has not worked, or if you do not want to use it, request a DUE PROCESS HEARING by writing to the principal with a copy to the superintendent. Your request must include your reasons for asking for the hearing, and your proposed solution to the problem. At the hearing, you will have a chance to explain your child’s situation to an impartial Hearing Officer. The Hearing Officer then makes a written decision. The hearing decision can be appealed in federal court.
Steps for Effectively Working with Your Child’s School
You may have a lot of ideas, questions, and solutions for certain problems when you consider approaching your child’s teacher and other school administrators. Before your first meeting and even your first phone call, your nerves and emotions may be running high. We have provided a list of steps you can take to make the most of the meetings with your child’s school.
Read more about working with your child’s school
We’ve put together a list of valuable and helpful resources that you can review at your convenience.
View our list of parent resources