Due Process Hearing
Both parents and districts may file due process hearings involving the identification, evaluation, placement or provision of FAPE to a student. IDEA requires that specific information be provided as part of a due process hearing request. The requirements are identified in the notice of procedural safeguards. If parents request information about how to file a due process hearing, the district will provide the parent with a due process hearing request that contains the required information. Due process hearing request forms are available at the special education office and on the OSPI Special Education and Administrative Resources website.
If any staff receives a request for a due process hearing, a copy of the request should be immediately forwarded to the special education director. If the parents have not filed the request for hearing with OSPI, the district will forward the parent request to OSPI Administrative Resources Section. The district may not delay or deny a parent’s due process hearing request. Parents are entitled to a copy of the notice of procedural safeguards if this is the first due process hearing in a school year. The district special education office is responsible for providing the parents a copy of the procedural safeguards in this situation and documenting that the safeguards were provided to the parent.
When a parent files a due process hearing, the student remains in the placement at the time of the request for hearing unless the parents and district agree to a different placement. See the discipline section below for placements when a disciplinary action is challenged.
When parents file a request for a due process hearing, the special education director will immediately schedule a resolution meeting. The meeting must occur no more than 15 days after a parent files a due process request with the district and provides a copy of the request to OSPI or within seven days if the hearing request involves an expedited hearing regarding discipline. The special education director will determine the appropriate district staff that will attend the resolution meeting. The district will ensure that one of the district representatives attending the resolution meeting has authority to bind the district in any resolution agreement. The district will not bring district legal counsel to a resolution meeting unless the parents are bringing an attorney to the meeting.
Any resolution agreement reached will be documented in writing and is binding on the parties. The document will inform the parent of their right to void the agreement within three business days of signing the agreement.
*See the Special Education Terms & Definitions page for more information.