Special Education Due Process
The student's parent(s) and school personnel work together to make decisions about a student's education, and this working relationship is generally a good one. However, there may be times when the parent(s) and school personnel do not agree about something. Sometimes it will be a small disagreement that can be resolved by a meeting between the parent(s) and a school representative or by having another Case Conference Committee (CCC) meeting. By working together to reach an agreement, the parent(s) and school personnel are able to continue a positive relationship and can often find a solution to the disagreement in less time than using a more formal process such as a due process hearing.
Tips for parents when a disagreement arises:
- Have you contacted your local special education director or the school principal to make him/her aware of your concerns?
- Have you looked at your student's Individualized Education Program (IEP)? Are you familiar with what it requires? Are you able to explain your specific questions and concerns?
- Have you referred to Indiana's rules for special education, commonly known as Article 7? Have you referred to Navigating the Course?
- Have you contacted a parent advocate?
- About Special Kids (ASK), (800) 964-4746 www.aboutspecialkids.org
- Indiana Resource Center for Families with Special Needs (IN*SOURCE), (800) 332-4433 www.insource.org
- Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services Commission, (800) 622-4845, www.in.gov/ipas/
- Have you asked to hold a Case Conference Committee meeting to address your questions and concerns with the school?
Sometimes, the parents(s) and school personnel are not able to resolve their disagreement by the methods above. As a result, three other conflict resolution options are available. Please click the following links for more details on those three additional options.
- Filing a Complaint, (Article 7, 511 IAC 7-45-1) [Click here to search complaint investigation reports]
- Requesting and participating in Mediation, (Article 7, 511 7-45-2)
- Requesting a Due Process Hearing, (Article 7, 511 7-45-3) [ Click here to search hearing decisions]
- Board of Special Education Appeals (BSEA)
The Indiana State Board of Education has abolished the Board of Special Education Appeals that formerly served as a review board for decisions by independent hearing officers in special education due process hearings, going from a two-tier to a one-tier procedure for such hearings. Consequently, 511 IAC 7-45-9 was revised to reflect that a petition for judicial review of the decision of the hearing officer must be filed with a state or federal court within 30 days after the decision is received. Appeals from decisions in hearings requested before June 24, 2010 were heard by the Board of Special Education Appeals. Decisions in hearings on or after June 24, 2010 must be appealed directly to court.
If you would like to be considered as a potential due process hearing officer or mediator, please complete the corresponding application.