Due Process Hearing Attorneys in York, PA
If you disagree with your school about what programming is necessary for your child, you do not need to accept the district’s offer as the final decision. You can file for a due process hearing. The legal team at Anderson, Converse & Fennick understands how frustrating it can be to learn that your child is not receiving the education he or she is entitled to. Contact our firm today for quality guidance through a due process hearing.
Special Education Due Process Hearings
If you are not in agreement with the program offered to your child, you can file for a due process hearing. If you file, a hearing officer appointed by the Commonwealth will hold a hearing at the school district, review the evidence, and issue a decision about your child’s program. Some of the issues typically resolved at due process hearings include:
- Your child’s eligibility for an outside educational evaluation paid for by the district
- Your child’s eligibility for an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 plan
- Accommodations or specially designed instruction that a plan should contain
- The services your child is “owed” (compensatory education) if the district has not been providing the proper special education programming for your child
- Your child’s need to be educated in a private school focusing on children with special education needs
It is important to be aware that throughout the due process period, your child will remain in his or her current program until a decision is made to change the program. This is referred to as the “stay put” or “pendency rule.”
The Process of Filing a Dispute
If you want a dispute resolved through the due process system, you must file a written request with the Office for Dispute Resolution. In the request, you must include basic information about your child and school, a description of the problem, and a proposal for a way to solve the problem. Once this has been submitted, the process is as follows:
- Within five days, you should hear from the Office for Dispute Resolution that your complaint has been received. A hearing officer will be assigned and you will be given a hearing date.
- The school district must meet with you at what is known as a “resolution session.” This must be done within 15 days of receiving the Notice. This meeting will not have to take place if both parties agree to use mediation or waive the meeting.
- If the dispute is not resolved at the resolution session, a hearing will be held. Each party may bring witnesses to the hearing or provide written material for consideration. Those documents must be exchanged at least five days prior to the hearing.
- The hearing officer will make a written decision after listening to the evidence and reviewing the documents. This must be done within 45 days after the receipt of the request for the hearing was received.
Either side can appeal the decision. You must file within 90 days of the hearing officer’s decision if you choose to do so.
Why should I hire an attorney?
This process is complicated! You are not required to have an attorney, but parents who go to due process hearings without an attorney rarely win. Regardless of whether or not you have an attorney, the school district will have one.
Contact a Pennsylvania Due Process Hearing Attorney
If you are scheduled for a Due Process Hearing in the state of Pennsylvania, it is important to retain quality legal counsel. The legal team at Anderson, Converse & Fennick has decades of experience representing people like you through each step of the hearing process, as well as with all other matters regarding a child’s special education services. Contact our firm today.