Sign a settlement agreement

If you and the school resolve your complaint in the resolution meeting, you will both sign a settlement agreement.

This is a statement of everything you agreed to in the meeting.

You must read the agreement carefully.

  • Some agreements will go into effect immediately.

  • Others might say you and the school have a couple of days to change the agreement before it becomes official.

You should always have an attorney review your settlement agreement.

  • The legal language can be confusing and you want to make sure you don't waive any of your rights.


Click the box below to learn more:

You may need to find a lawyer to help you resolve your dispute.

It’s best to find one who has lots of experience with special education laws and regulations.

Choose a lawyer who lists one of these as their specialty:

  • Special Education

  • Education Law

  • Advocacy

Be sure to ask in advance about fees. Fees will vary based on each lawyer's experience and how complex the case is.

The organizations below can help you find a lawyer. If you are low-income, ask about free legal help.


Children's Law Center of Massachusetts

P.O. Box 710

298 Union Street

Lynn, MA 01902

Phone: (781) 581-1977; (888) 543-5298




Disability Law Center, Inc.

11 Beacon Street, Suite 925

Boston, MA 02108

Phone: (617) 723-8455; (800) 872-9992; (617) 227-9464 (TTY); (800) 381-0577 (TTY)



Greater Boston Legal Services

197 Friend St

Boston, MA 02114

Phone: (617) 371-1234



Massachusetts Advocates for Children

25 Kingston Street, Second Floor

Boston, MA 02111

Phone: 617-357-8431 ext. 3224



Special Needs Advocacy Network, Inc.

P.O. Box 509

North Attleboro, MA 02761

Phone: (508) 655-7999, 617-388-3638




The Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA) also maintains a list of legal resources by region here: Directory of Legal Services.


Notes about legal fees:

  • You must pay your own legal fees, unless the court decides otherwise

  • If you win your hearing decision, sometimes the court will decide that the school district should pay your lawyer's fees

  • In turn, if the court decides your complaint was not valid, you may be ordered to pay the school district's legal fees

Your lawyer can help you understand how these would apply to your specific case.

Source: MA DESE

Source: MA DESE