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Last Updated: 11/20/2017
 

IEP Issues - Due Process

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IDEA Dispute Resolution Process Comparison Chart (PDF; 3 pages, 562 KB; January 2007) - This comparison chart was presented at the IDEA Regional Implementation Meetings in January and February 2007. It answers the following questions regarding mediation, due process complaint, resolution process, and state complaint: Who can initiate the process? What is the time limit for filing? What issues can be resolved? What is the timeline for resolving the issues? Who resolves the issues?
 

Questions and Answers on Procedural Safeguards and Due Process Procedures for Parents and Children with Disabilities (January 2007 - Word Document) - This is the most recent Q&A document on Procedural Safeguards from the Office of Special Education Programs. It covers state complaint procedures, mediation, due process complaints, and the resolution process. Available on Word (11 pages, 64 KB).
 

Michigan Special Education Due Process Hearing Database - This collection of opinions covers those issued from 1986 to the present and allows the MDE to more readily comply with the requirement of 34 CFR 300.510(c)(2) to make due process decisions available to the public. The collection is searchable thus allowing inquirers to find cases containing specific words or phrases or to find decisions by the date the decision was issued.

 

Stephen Jeffers v. School Board - Stephen Jeffers v. School Board is a two-hour documentary that takes you through a special education due process hearing, from initial preparation to testimony by the final witness. You see exciting direct examination, dramatic cross-examination, arguments between counsel and objections to hearsay and leading questions.

 

Using an Expert as An Effective Resource - Expert opinions are necessary in special education. No matter how knowledgeable they are about their disabled children, parents should rely on the opinions of trained professionals to help them make informed decisions about therapeutic and educational interventions.

 

TN Special Ed Battle: Family Wins Case, Seeks Legal Fees From Monongalia Schools - Jim and Eleanor Green spend most of their evenings reading legal documents -- time taken away from reading storybooks to their two children. The couple, whose 8-year-old daughter, Julie, has Down syndrome, is embroiled in a battle with the Monongalia County school system. The battle has cost both parties a combined $170,000. And a lot of time and energy. It started in spring 2002 when the Greens disagreed with school officials, who attempted to increase Julie's time out of the regular classroom at Mountainview Elementary from 21 percent to 60 percent. Officials said Julie (who is mildly mentally retarded) needed a specialized environment to learn.

 

MA Appeals Court: Parents Can Represent Their Children in Disability Disputes - Parents can sue on behalf of their disabled children -- without hiring a lawyer -- to make sure their child gets an appropriate public education, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday.
 

Access and Equity in the Due Process System - Attorney Representation and Hearing Outcomes in Illinois, 1997-2002; by Melanie Archer, Ph.D., December 2002

 

Q and A Regarding Reimbursement for Advocate Fees at Due Process Hearings - click here.
 

Investigating Special Education Complaints (Michigan): An Update - click here. (PDF document)

 

Factors to Consider when Selecting an Expert by Rosemary Palmer, Esq.
 

Using an Expert as An Effective Resource by Jennifer L. Bollero, Esq. - Expert opinions are necessary in special education. No matter how knowledgeable they are about their disabled children, parents should rely on the opinions of trained professionals to help them make informed decisions about therapeutic and educational interventions. School districts will also rely on these professionals to help them design and deliver specialized education. All parties must recognize the important roles played by these professionals.
 

Observations from the Transom by Brice Palmer - Beyond the technical, legal, and ethical considerations of expert witness testimony is the continuing effort by education agencies and their legal counsel to restrict the ability of parent attorneys and advocates to adequately argue on behalf of disabled children and their parents.

 

Understanding Due Process and Mediation by Sonja Kerr

 

Special Education Mediation: A Guide for Parents

 

Special Education Mediation: A Guide for Parents (Spanish)

 

Special Education Mediation: A Guide for Parents (Hmong)

 

Implementing the Mediation Requirements of IDEA '97

 

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Question: Can you get fees for an "educational specialist"
Answer: The following excerpt came from a due process hearing in Ohio:

"Joan K. Honeycutt, Ed.D., has more than twenty (20) years of professional experience in the area of special education. She is a respected consultant and advocate for children with disabilities. Dr. Honeycutt expended in excess of one hundred (100) hours reviewing [Child]'s education documents and providing consultative services throughout the proceedings. The amount of time expended by Dr. Honeycutt was both reasonable and necessary.

The hourly rate of $150.00 per hour is reasonable for the services of Joan K. Honeycutt, Ed.D., and is consistent with rates prevailing in Cuyahoga County, Ohio and surrounding areas, for the kind and quality of services furnished by education consultants of comparable skill, experience and reputation.

Elizabeth Jones, a Paralegal employed by Hickman & Lowder Co., L.P.A. has more than two (2) years experience working has a Litigation Paralegal. Ms. Jones expended over seventy-six (76) hours providing litigation support during the administrative proceedings.

The hourly rate of $ 85.00 per hour is reasonable for the services of Ms. Jones, and is consistent with rates prevailing in Cuyahoga County, Ohio and surrounding areas, for the kind and quality of services furnished by a Paralegal of comparable skill and experience.
 

 

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