Special Education

Annual Performance Report for 2008-09 - February 2010 - Indicator 17

Overview of the Annual Performance Report Development:

See Overview of the Development of the Annual Performance Report (APR) in the Introduction section, page 1.

Monitoring Priority: FAPE in the LRE

Indicator 17:

Percent of adjudicated due process hearing requests that were fully adjudicated within the 45-day timeline or a timeline that is properly extended by the hearing officer at the request of either party or in the case of an expedited hearing, within the required timelines.
(20 U.S.C. 1416(a)(3)(B))

Measurement:

Percent = [(3.2(a) + 3.2(b)) divided by 3.2] times 100.  (This formula references data contained in the rows of the table below.)

Data Source:

New York State (NYS) will use data collected and reported to the United States Education Department (USED) annually in the 618 report on Table 7 of Information Collection 1820-0677 (Report of Dispute Resolution Under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)).

Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) Measurable and Rigorous Target
FFY 2008
(2008-09 school year)
100 percent of impartial hearing decisions will be rendered within regulatory timelines.

Actual Target Data for FFY 2008:

81.2 percent of impartial hearing requests were fully adjudicated within the 45-day timeline (or 30-day timeline for preschool students) or a timeline was properly extended by the impartial hearing officer (IHO) at the request of either party.

7/1/2008 - 6/30/2009
SECTION C: Hearing Requests
(3)  Hearing requests total 6064
      (3.2) Hearings (fully adjudicated) 552
 (a)  Decisions within timeline 118
  (b)  Decisions within extended timeline 330
      (3.3) Resolved without a hearing 4373
Percent = 118[3.2(a)] + 330[3.2(b)] divided by 552[3.2] = .81159 times 100 = 81.159%.

Discussion of Improvement Activities Completed and Explanation of Progress or Slippage that occurred for FFY 2008:

Explanation of Progress

In 2008-09, the percentage of adjudicated hearings completed in a timely manner increased slightly from 80.909 percent to 81.159 percent, an increase of 0.25 percentage points.

The number of IHOs with five or more late decisions was reduced from 13 in 2007-08 to six in 2008-09.  Based on NYS Regulations, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) continued to investigate impartial hearing cases where the decisions were late.  This resulted in the decertification of any IHO with a history of consistently late cases.

Improvement Activities Completed in 2008-09

The Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID) worked with the federally funded Northeast Regional Resource Center (NERRC) to plan for expanding professional development for staff and IHOs in order to improve the timeliness of due process.  NERCC assisted staff with updating information and identifying resource materials and possible consultants who could assist with training.  NERRC provided advice in expanding professional development for IHOs and in developing related materials.  By participating in a NERRC-sponsored webinar for the northeastern states’ IHOs, NYSED staff were able to assess the usefulness of the webinar as a tool to increase professional development for our State’s IHOs.  This model for training IHOs is under consideration by NYSED to increase the frequency for IHO training.

1. Beginning in January 2009, VESID instituted a noncompliance notification process for IHOs who have an overdue decision.  The notifications are monitored and data from the notification process is used to initiate a Commissioner's review and, if warranted, further investigation to determine if suspension or revocation of an IHO's certification is warranted for failure of the IHO to issue a decision in a timely manner where such delay was not due to extensions granted at the request of either party as documented in the record.  In the first six months, the following types of notices were sent to IHOs. The IHO who received the Second Notice of Continuing Noncompliance was decertified.

Type of Notice sent # of notices sent in 2008-09 # of IHOs who received notices
Noncompliance Alert 56 12
Notice of Noncompliance 14 5
Notice of Continuing Noncompliance 7 2
Second Notice of Continuing Noncompliance 4 1

2. IHOs have annually been provided with paper copies of an annual “Activity Summary.”  The activity summary includes the total number of cases to which they were appointed and whether those cases were addressed in a timely manner and use of extension information.  This report is now available electronically to IHOs through the Impartial Hearing Reporting System (IHRS) and may be accessed at anytime.

3. In January of 2009, IHOs received trend data regarding their individual performance in the 2006-07, 2007-08, and 2008-09 reporting periods.  IHOs with a history of late decisions in all three years were asked to review their practices and were provided technical assistance regarding the tools available to assist them to monitor timelines.  The IHO Toolbox includes a calculator for the IHO to use to calculate dates of any extension calculator and provides the IHO with his/her Summary of Hearing Timeliness report.

4. The IHRS Help file was revised to provide additional technical assistance to IHOs and school districts regarding the impartial hearing process and timelines.

5. Monthly phone conferences were conducted by VESID's IHRS Office, New York City (NYC) Special Education Quality Assurance (SEQA) Regional Office and the NYC Impartial Hearing Office to address data collection issues, clarify State regulations, policies and procedures, and address other issues affecting timely decisions by NYC IHOs.

6. IHRS staff provided reminders and offered school districts and IHOs technical assistance regarding cases when they were identified as five or more days late.

7. In 2007-08, a review of the data identified a process issue that contributed to the number of late decisions in the NYC Region.  In response, the NYC Department of Education (NYCDOE) Impartial Hearing Office revised their administrative processing procedures that were contributing to the late decisions.

Additional Information Required by the OSEP APR Response Table for this Indicator (if applicable):

Statement from the OSEP Response Table State’s Response
The State must review its improvement activities and revise them, if appropriate, to ensure they will enable the State to provide data in the FFY 2008 APR, due February 1, 2010, demonstrating that the State is in compliance with the due process hearing timelines requirements in 34 CFR §300.515. The State expanded its processes for tracking and giving feedback to IHOs regarding timeliness of their decisions, including developing consequences for IHOs that do not improve their timeliness.  Additionally, the State began to plan for expanding professional development of IHOs to assist them with improving their management of due process.

Revisions, with Justification, to Proposed Targets / Improvement Activities / Timelines / Resources for FFY 2008 [If applicable]

Beginning in 2010, the State will require each NYS certified IHO to attend 12 hours of annual update training sessions.

Last Updated: June 30, 2010