To:Interested Parties

From:Special Education Appeals

Date:October 2009

 

 

This memorandum summarizes Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA) data for fiscal year 2009 (covering the period July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2009).

Rejected Individualized Education Programs

During FY'09, the BSEA received 7,252 rejected IEPs, a decrease of 149 over the past fiscal year.

Mediation

There were approximately 846 mediations concerning special education and Section 504 matters, conducted by eight BSEA mediators during FY'09, a 6.6% decrease over the prior year. Approximately 84.5 % of the mediations resulted in written agreements.

Hearings

There were 609 hearing requests received by the BSEA during FY'09, (representing a slight decrease from 618 requests in the prior year), the vast majority of which were either resolved prior to proceeding to the formal hearing or subsequent to the commencement of the hearing but prior to concluding the process.

The seven 1 full-time BSEA hearing officers conducted full hearings resulting in 48 decisions.

In addition to the 48 decisions, at least 35 substantive written rulings were issued by the hearing officers.

Representation and Prevailing Party

Of the 48 decisions noted above, parents prevailed in 6 (approximately 12.5 %), school districts in 36 (75%), while 5 decisions (approximately 10.5 %) involved mixed relief and 1 decision (approximately 2 %) 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 3, appeared pro se in 2, and were represented by a lay advocate in 1; the school district was represented by counsel in all 6 matters.

Of the 36 cases in which school districts fully prevailed, the district was represented by counsel in all 36 cases; parents appeared pro se in 25, were represented by counsel in 9 and by an advocate in 2.