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(6.3) What is the difference between a compliance complaint and a due process hearing?

(6.3) What is the difference between a compliance complaint and a due process hearing?

Although people often confuse compliance complaints and due process, the main difference is:

  1. When there is a disagreement about what should go into a student’s IEP, or where to implement the IEP, then due process is appropriate; but,
  2. When the district has not followed special education laws or procedures or has not implemented what is already specifically written into a student’s IEP, then a compliance complaint is appropriate.

In other words, due process procedures involve a disagreement over what a student’s program should include, or where to implement the IEP, while a compliance complaint involves a failure by the district to follow the rules or to do what has already been agreed to in writing in the IEP.