Navigating the New York public school system can be complicated for any parent, let alone one with a child with special education needs. When a parent cannot find help to support their child’s special education requirements, or is denied access to special education programs for their child, they may not know where to turn for help. An education attorney can advise them if there are systems in the school system to pursue to seek review of their concerns.
There are different steps to escalate disability-based claims through the public school system. This post will discuss some of those steps, and will focus on impartial due process hearings. No part of this post should be read as legal advice.
Resolving disagreements about disability services in public education
When a parent has concerns about the placement or lack of placement for their child in public education programs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) they can attempt to resolve their concerns informally with their school personnel. If informal resolution does not work, they can seek to mediate their concerns with a third party and the relevant school district representatives.
When informal and mediated options are insufficient, parents can file complaints to the state education office. It is at this stage that parents and educators can seek to implement impartial hearings to resolve the concerns and conflicts between them.
Impartial due process hearings in New York public schools
The impartial due process hearing phase happens after the filing of a complaint. A hearing officer is selected for the hearing and the parent and school district may convene to present their claims and evidence. While the hearing is underway, the student stays in whatever placements they have been in prior to the start of the process. The hearing officer reviews the evidence and makes a determination on the matter. The losing party may appeal the decision.
The hearing process is much like a court hearing and there are legal requirements for moving a claim along. Parents can benefit from working with knowledgeable education law attorneys when they begin the impartial due process hearing course for their kids.