Special Education

Selection and Appointment of Special Education Impartial Hearing Officers

April 2015

SPECIAL EDUCATION FIELD ADVISORY

From: James P. DeLorenzo
Subject: Selection and Appointment of Special Education Impartial Hearing Officers
Documents:


The purpose of this memorandum is to remind school district personnel of the
procedures they must follow to select and appoint an Impartial Hearing Officer (IHO) to
conduct a special education due process hearing.

Section 200.2(e)(1)(ii) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education requires
that each school district maintain a rotational selection list of IHOs, with the names of IHOs
listed alphabetically. Selection from the list is made on a rotational basis beginning with
the first name appearing after the IHO who last served. Should that IHO decline
appointment or fail to respond within 24 hours after reasonable efforts have been made by
the district that are documented and can be independently verified, each successive IHO
whose name next appears on the list is offered appointment, until the appointment is
accepted. The school district may simultaneously contact several IHOs to determine their
availability, however the selection of the IHO must be based on the rotational list,
regardless of which IHO responds first.

In order to assist school districts to meet this regulatory requirement, district-specific
rotational lists are established, maintained and regularly updated by the New York State
Education D~partment (NYSED) in the Impartial Hearing Reporting System (IHRS). These
lists in IHRS identify which IHO is next in line to be contacted for appointment in each
school district. Since the list of available IHOs is periodically revised, districts are advised
to access the list in IHRS for each new case and should not print a copy of the list for
reference without ensuring it is the most current list for the district as found in IHRS. This
means that school districts should log in to IHRS for each new appointment, rather than
use previously printed lists. The rotational list screen is updated automatically when an
IHO is appointed and is moved to the bottom of the list, and when NYSED adds or
removes an IHO's name from a county or district list.

The rotational selection list for each district may be accessed as follows:

  • Log onto IHRS. To access IHRS, navigate to NYSED's home page at
    http://www.nysed.gov/, and then click on the Business Portal link on the navigation
    menu at the top of the page. Click the Log On link at the top right corner and enter
    your user name and password. Once you are logged on, click IHRS Main Menu. If
    you do not have a username and password, contact your delegated administrator
    for the State Education Department Delegated Account System (SEDDAS) or your
    school superintendent.
  • On the IHRS Main Menu screen, click on IHO Rotational List.
  • A list of IHOs will appear starting with the next IHO available for appointment at the
    TOP of the list. Each district must contact IHOs in the order displayed on this list.
    (If a list of IHOs does not appear, this may mean that the district's "initial marker",
    the mechanism for indicating the starting point in the IHO rotational list, has not
    been set. To set a district rotational list marker, go to the IHRS Main Menu screen,
    click on District Initial Marker and follow the help directions.)
  • For complete information and examples of how to appoint an IHO on IHRS, visit the
    help file entitled "Contacting an IHO from the IHO Rotational List" in IHRS or go to
    http://pd.nysed.gov/specedhelp/ihrs/4AAppointingAnIHO.html.

Thank you for your cooperation in this matter. If you have any questions regarding
this memorandum, please contact NYSED's Office of Special Education Due Process Unit
at (518) 473-0170.

NOTE: The full text for this memo is available from the PDF version: 

Last Updated: April 23, 2015