Posted: Thu, 11/07/2019 - 9:16am Updated: Thu, 11/14/2019 - 8:07am
What is a due process hearing?
- A due process hearing is an administrative law proceeding held before an impartial independent hearing officer (IHO).
- The parent(s) and the school may present witnesses and other evidence.
- The IHO considers all of the information and issues a written decision.
What disagreements can a due process hearing resolve?
- A student's identification or eligibility as a student with a disability;
- The appropriateness of the educational evaluation, level of services, or placement; or
- Anything else related to the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE).
Who may file a due process hearing?
- A due process hearing may be filed by a: student's parent(s); student of legal age; school; or the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE).
What must be included in a request for a due process hearing?
- The parent's name, address, and telephone number;
- The student's name and address, if different from parent’s;
- The name of the school corporation and school the student attends;
- The reasons for the hearing request, specifically:
- A description of the nature of the problem; and
- Any facts related to the problem; and
- A proposed resolution of the problem.
How can I file a due process hearing request?
- To file a due process hearing request electronically, please use I-CHAMP.
- A written request for a hearing can also be printed and completed with a handwritten signature and submitted to IDOE and school serving the student by mail, facsimile, or in person. Click here for a sample due process hearing request.
Who must receive a copy of a due process hearing request?
- Superintendent of Public Instruction
Indiana Department of Education
Office of Special Education
115 W Washington St., South Tower Ste 600
Indianapolis, IN 46204; and
- If filed by a parent, the superintendent of the school corporation or charter school that the student attends; or
- If filed by the school, the parent(s).
- A copy may be submitted electronically using I-CHAMP, in person, by mail, or via fax. A hearing request cannot be filed with IDOE through electronic mail.
What is the deadline for requesting a due process hearing?
- A due process hearing must be requested within two years of the date that the parent(s) or school knew or should have known about the issue or action that caused the disagreement.
- There are two exceptions to this rule. Those exceptions occur where the parent was prevented from filing a due process hearing request:
- due to specific misrepresentations by the school that it had resolved the problems forming the basis of the due process hearing; or
- due to the school’s withholding of information from the parent that was required under Article 7 to be provided to the parent.
What are the timelines for a due process hearing?
When should a due process hearing be expedited?
- If the parent disagrees with the school's determination that the student's behavior was not a manifestation of the student's disability;
- If the parent disagrees with the school's decision concerning the student's disciplinary change of placement; or
- Where the school maintains that it is dangerous for the student to return to the current placement (placement prior to the removal to the interim alternative educational setting (IAES) after the expiration of the student’s placement in an IAES.
What are the timelines for an expedited due process hearing?
How can I file an expedited due process hearing request?
- To file an expedited due process hearing request electronically, please use I-CHAMP.
- A written request for a hearing can also be printed and completed with a handwritten signature and submitted to IDOE and the school serving the student by mail, facsimile, or in person. Click here for a sample due process hearing request. An expedited hearing request cannot be filed with IDOE through electronic mail.
Where are prior special education hearing decisions located?
- Reports are available electronically on I-CHAMP and may be searched by school corporation, special education planning district, topic, or year.
- Click here for postings of written decisions of the Indiana Board of Special Education Appeals (BSEA). The BSEA is no longer in existence, but the board’s decisions are available for review.
Who serves as IHOs?
- A person who may be appointed as an IHO must:
- Have no personal or professional interest that would conflict with the person’s objectivity in the hearing;
- Not be an officer, employee, or agent of the school, IDOE, or any other agency that may be involved in the education or care of the student;
- Possess knowledge of and the ability to understand the provisions of:
- The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA);
- Federal regulations implementing the IDEA;
- Legal interpretations of the IDEA by federal and state courts; and
- Article 7;
- Be trained in the due process hearing procedures to ensure the ability to conduct hearings in accordance with Indiana Code 4-21.5-3;
- Possess the knowledge and the ability to render and write decisions in accordance with appropriate, standard legal practice; and
- Be subject to any other qualifications established by the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
- Hearing officers are assigned on a rotation basis.