Published Online: May 21, 1997

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IDEA Reauthorization: Key Provisions

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  • Mediation: States would be required to set up voluntary mediation systems for parents and school districts that are at odds over a disabled student's education.
  • Legal fees: Parents who prevail in a court case could no longer collect lawyers' fees for mediation or for meetings on students' individualized education plans unless such a meeting was ordered as a result of administrative or judicial action.
  • Performance goals and assessments: States would be required to set goals for disabled students and to create indicators to measure progress.
  • Personnel: Districts in areas with shortages of qualified personnel would be allowed to hire people who are making progress toward meeting the state's standards within three years.
  • Private school placement: Districts would be required to pay for a private school placement only when an appropriate public placement is not available and when parents first go through the appropriate procedures with the district.

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