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(a) The commissioner, or the commissioner's designee, of the state lead agency must use federal funds to provide mediation for the activities in paragraphs (b) and (c).

(b) A parent may resolve a dispute regarding issues in section 125A.42, paragraph (b), clause (5), through mediation. If the parent chooses mediation, mediation must be voluntary on the part of the parties. The parent and the public agencies must complete the mediation process within 30 calendar days of the date the Department of Education receives a parent's written request for mediation unless a district declines mediation. The mediation process may not be used to delay a parent's right to a due process hearing. The written, signed mediation agreement is binding on both parties and is enforceable in any state court of competent jurisdiction or in a district court of the United States.

(c) Resolution of a dispute through mediation, or other form of alternative dispute resolution, is not limited to formal disputes arising from the objection of a parent or guardian and is not limited to the period following a request for a due process hearing.

(d) The commissioner shall provide training and resources to school districts to facilitate early identification of disputes and access to mediation.

(e) The local primary agency may request mediation on behalf of involved agencies when there are disputes between agencies regarding responsibilities to coordinate, provide, pay for, or facilitate payment for early intervention services.

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes