To:Interested Parties

From:Special Education Appeals

Date:October 2008


This memorandum summarizes Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA) data for fiscal year 2008 (covering the period July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008).

Rejected Individualized Education Programs

During FY'08, the BSEA received 7,401 rejected IEPs, an increase of 1,156 over the past fiscal year.

Mediation

There were approximately 906 mediations concerning special education and Section 504 matters, conducted by eight BSEA mediators during FY08, a 9.2% increase over the prior year. Approximately 84% of the mediations resulted in written agreements.

Hearings

There were 618 hearing requests received by the BSEA during FY08, an increase of 26 over the prior year. The seven full–time BSEA hearing officers conducted full hearings resulting in 34 decisions. The remaining hearing requests were either resolved prior to proceeding to the formal hearing process or subsequent to the commencement of the hearing but prior to concluding the process.

In addition to the 34 decisions, at least 32 substantive written rulings were issued by the hearing officers.

Representation and Prevailing Party

Of the 34 decisions noted above, parents prevailed in 7 (approximately 20%), school districts in 19 (approximately 56%), while 6 decisions (approximately 18%) involved mixed relief and 2 decisions (approximately 6%) 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 7 cases in which parents fully prevailed, parents were represented by counsel in 4 and appeared pro se in 3; the school district was represented by counsel in all 7 matters.

Of the 19 cases in which school districts fully prevailed, the district was represented by counsel in all cases; parents appeared pro se in 11, were represented by counsel in 6 and by an advocate in 2.