Mediation is encouraged because it gives both sides another chance to reach agreement. An impartial mediator increases the possibility of resolution. The mediation does not change the 45-day timeline, although parents are sometimes asked to extend the 45-day timeline to aid in the mediation process. From a tactical standpoint, mediation often gives parents more information about the district’s point of view. Such information may be helpful if there is a due process hearing.
On the other hand, mediation requires additional time and energy. It may be best to waive mediation if you have a time-sensitive dispute. However, before waiving mediation, make sure that you are prepared to proceed to the due process hearing. Waiving mediation may result in the due process hearing being scheduled sooner than if you participated in mediation.