A summary of Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA) data for fiscal year 2010 (covering the period July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010) follows.

Rejected Individualized Education Programs

During FY'10, the BSEA received 7,875 rejected IEPs, an increase of 623 over the past fiscal year.

Mediation

There were approximately 854 mediations concerning special education and Section 504 matters conducted by eight BSEA mediators during FY'10.
(This figure represents a less than 1% increase over the 846 mediations conducted the prior year.)

Approximately 86.8 % of the mediations resulted in written agreements.

Hearings

There were 545 hearing requests received by the BSEA during FY'10 (representing a 10% decrease from the 609 requests in the prior year). The vast majority of these hearing requests were either resolved prior to proceeding to the formal hearing, or subsequent to the commencement of the hearing but prior to concluding the process.

BSEA hearing officers conducted full hearings resulting in 50 decisions. In addition to the 50 decisions, at least 21 substantive written rulings were issued.

Prevailing Party

Of the 50 decisions noted above, parents prevailed in 9 (18%), school districts prevailed in 29 (58 %), 8 decisions (16 %) involved mixed relief, while 4 decisions (8 %) involved relief against another state agency, or a dispute between two or more school districts.

Representation

Statistics with respect to outcome in relation to representation are as follows:

Of the 9 cases in which parents fully prevailed, parents were represented by counsel in 5, appeared pro se in 2, and were represented by a lay advocate in 2; the school district was represented by counsel in all 9 matters.

Of the 29 cases in which school districts fully prevailed, the district was represented by counsel in all 29 cases; parents appeared pro se in 16, were represented by counsel in 8 and by a lay advocate in 5.

Of the 8 cases in which mixed relief was granted, the school district was represented by counsel in all 8; parents were represented by counsel in 5 and appeared pro se in 3.