To:Interested Parties

From:Special Education Appeals

Date:October 2007

 

This memorandum summarizes Bureau of Special Education Appeals data for fiscal year 2007 (covering the period July 1, 2006 through June 30, 2007).

Rejected Individualized Education Programs

During FY07, the Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA) received 6,245 rejected IEPs, an increase of 770 over the past year.

Mediation

There were approximately 841 mediations concerning special education and Section 504 matters, conducted by eight BSEA mediators (representing seven full-time positions) during FY07, an 8.8% increase over the prior year. Approximately 83.7% of the mediations resulted in written agreements.

Hearings

There were 592 hearing requests received by the BSEA during FY07, an increase of 24 over the prior year. The eight full-time BSEA hearing officers conducted full hearings resulting in 41 decisions. The remaining hearing requests were either resolved prior to proceeding to the formal hearing process or subsequent to the commencement of the hearing.

In addition to the 41 decisions, at least 27 substantive written rulings were issued by the hearing officers.

Representation and Prevailing Party

Of the 41 decisions noted above, parents prevailed in 6 (approximately 14.6%), school districts in 25 (approximately 60.9%), while 8 decisions (approximately 19.5%) involved mixed relief and 2 decisions (approximately 4.8%) involved relief against another state agency, or a dispute between two or more school districts.

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

Of the 6 cases in which parents fully prevailed, parents were represented by counsel in 5 and appeared pro se in 1; the school district was represented by counsel in all 6 matters.

Of the 25 cases in which school districts fully prevailed, the district was represented by counsel in all cases; parents appeared pro se in 13, were represented by counsel in 11 and by an advocate in 1.