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Dispute Resolution

Dispute Resolution Options

The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) offers three options under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act for resolving disputes related to special education: mediation, state complaints, and due process complaints. Click on a button below for more information on each option.

Compare Dispute Resolution Options

Parent and Child Rights in Special Education

The Procedural Safeguards Notice explains the rights of a parent of a student with a disability and the procedures that protect those rights under state and federal special education law, including the Exceptional Children's Educational Act (ECEA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

ECEA and IDEA require that a school district, a board of cooperative educational services (BOCES), or a State Operated Program provide the Procedural Safeguards Notice to parents at least once per year and on the following occasions: upon initial referral or on request for evaluation; upon receipt of the first state complaint and upon receipt of the first due process complaint in a school year; upon a disciplinary change of placement; or upon parent request. With parental agreement, a public agency can provide a parent an electronic copy of the procedural safeguards notice (e.g., through email) instead of a paper copy.

Dispute Resolution Office Operations during COVID-19

The CDE's top priority is the health and safety of all students, educators and communities in Colorado. During this time of unprecedented national emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, access to CDE's Office of Dispute Resolution—located at 1560 Broadway in Denver—has been restricted from guests and visitors.

For this reason, the CDE is not presently accepting hand-delivered state or due process complaints. The CDE is still accepting complaints by mail at:

Dispute Resolution Office
Colorado Department of Education
Exceptional Student Services Unit
1560 Broadway, Suite 1100
Denver, Colorado 80202​

If you have any questions about this, or if you are unable to mail a state or due process complaint, please contact us.

Mediation and Due Process during COVID-19

Where the COVID-19 pandemic prevents parents or school staff from attending mediation in person, they may agree to mediate virtually through a video conferencing platform, such as Zoom. For more information on mediation click here.

Where the COVID-19 pandemic prevents parents or school staff from attending a resolution meeting in person, they may participate in a resolution meeting virtually through a video conference or a conference call subject to parental agreement. For more information on due process complaints click here.

Office of Special Education Programs and Office for Civil Rights COVID-19 Resources

Helpful Resources 

Contact Us

Brandon Edelman, Esq.
Supervisor, Dispute Resolution
Email Brandon

Dispute Resolution Paralegal & Coordinator

CiCi Lyman
Program Support
Email CiCi

Ashley Schubert, Esq.
State Complaints Officer
Email Ashley

Ross Meyers, Esq.
State Complaints Officer
Email Ross

Rachel Dore, Esq.
State Complaints Officer
Email Rachel

Nick Podsiadlik, Esq.
State Complaints Officer
Email Nick

Exceptional Student Services Unit, 1560 Broadway, Suite 1100, Denver, CO 80202 | Phone: 303-866-6694, Fax: 303-866-6767

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