PPIC Logo Independent, objective, nonpartisan research
Report · February 2009

Resolving Special Education Disputes in California

Stephen Lipscomb

This paper examines the formal process for dispute resolution between the parents of special education students-who make up about 10 percent of all California public school students-and the school districts that educate them. Requests for resolution are concentrated in fewer than a third of the state’s school districts; the rate tends to be higher in larger, densely populated districts, and in districts in higher-income areas. Overall, the state has one of the highest request rates in the country, but most disputes are settled before a formal hearing.


K–12 Education