Answer: The liaison has the legal responsibility to ensure enrollment disputes are mediated and to carry out the dispute process expeditiously. 42 USC §§11432(g)(3)(E)(iii) & 11432(g)(6)(A)(vii). In order to do this, the liaison must collect all the facts to be able to determine how the student’s situation fits under the law. In addition, the liaison also has the duty to ensure “the parent or guardian of the child or youth or (in the case of an unaccompanied youth) the youth shall be provided with a written explanation of any decisions related to school selection or enrollment made by the school, the local educational agency, or the State educational agency involved, including the rights of the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth to appeal such decisions.” 42 USC §11432(g)(3)(E)(ii). The liaison cannot provide a written explanation without understanding the full story of the dispute.

In no case should students be missing school or forced into a school contrary to their wishes while disputes are resolved. “The child or youth shall be immediately enrolled in the school in which enrollment is sought, pending final resolution of the dispute, including all available appeals.” 42 USC §11432(g)(3)(E)(i). While disputes must be resolved as expeditiously as possible, the liaison must take the time necessary to collect the information needed to mediate the dispute, apply the law, provide written notice, and consult with the State Coordinator or others as needed.

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