Policy 3030: Students With Educational Disabilities, Impartial Hearing Officer Policy
The Board of Education encourages the parents or legal guardians of students with disabilities, pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and Article 89 of the New York State Education Law, to make every effort to resolve amicably any differences with the school district over the educational programs for these students. For those exceptional cases when it is not possible to resolve a disagreement without outside assistance, the following process for an impartial hearing will be followed:
- The parent or school district requests, in writing, an impartial hearing.
- The school district informs the parent of the availability of mediation, provides the parent with a copy of the Procedural Safeguards Notice, and informs the parent of any free or low-cost legal aid or other relevant services that may be available in the area.
- The school district selects the Impartial hearing officer through a rotational selection process in accordance with regulatory timelines.
- The President or Vice President of the Board of Education is delegated with the authority to immediately appoint the Impartial hearing officer.
- The Impartial hearing officer presides over the hearing at which the parties have an opportunity to present evidence and testimony.
- The student remains in his or her current placement during the pendency of an impartial hearing (unless the parents and school district otherwise agree and except as otherwise provided for expedited impartial hearings for certain disciplinary suspensions or removals of a student).
- The Impartial hearing officer renders and mails the finding of fact and decision to the parties and to the State Education Department in accordance with regulatory timelines.
- The decision of the Impartial Hearing Office is final unless appealed to the State Review Officer (SRO).
Impartial Hearing Officer Fees and Expenses
- The Impartial hearing officer's maximum rate of pay is set by New York State. The CCSD will reimburse, upon review and approval of properly submitted receipts, the Impartial hearing officer's travel expenses for the least expensive mode of transportation. Mileage reimbursement for auto transportation will be at the current rate set by the Internal Revenue Service.
- The district will not reimburse Impartial hearing officers for administrative assistance, secretarial or other overhead expenses.
- In addition to time spent at the hearing, the Board will compensate at the hourly rate, for time actually expended by the Impartial hearing officer for:
- Scheduling the hearing;
- Pre-hearing conference calls (if necessary);
- Scheduling letters;
- Preparing the Decision, including any Interim Decisions.
- A statement for fees and expenses shall be submitted at the conclusion of the hearing and receipt of the impartial hearing officer's final decision or other determination having the effect of terminating the impartial hearing officer's involvement in the hearing.
- All statements for fees and expenses shall separately list each individual item of service or expense, the date it occurred and the time spent, by hour or fraction thereof in increments of one-tenth of an hour (e.g., .1, .2, .3, ...). Time charges must be appropriate. The district reserves the right to request additional information concerning the appropriateness of any time charges and to withhold payment for time charges deemed to be inappropriate and/or inconsistent with applicable Board policy. All statements for fees and expenses shall be submitted by the Impartial hearing officer within 30 days of the termination of service.
- Absent extraordinary circumstances, as determined in advance by the district, impartial hearing officers will not be reimbursed for any other expenses associated with their appointment and service as Impartial hearing officers.
- A cancellation fee of $500.00 shall be paid by the district where five calendars days notice is not provided to the impartial hearing officer. The district will not be responsible for any compensation in connection with hearing cancellations where five or more calendar days notice is provided to the impartial hearing officer.
A copy of this policy will be forwarded to the impartial hearing officer at the time of appointment.
Adopted by the Board of Education: June 18, 2002
Revised: March 11, 2008