Special Education

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 2009
(2009-10 school year)
100 percent of impartial hearing decisions will be rendered within regulatory timelines.

Actual Target Data for FFY 2009:

84 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.

7/1/2009 - 6/30/2010
SECTION C: Hearing Requests
(3)  Hearing requests total 6078
(3.2) Hearings (fully adjudicated) 425
(a)  Decisions within timeline 94
(b)  Decisions within extended timeline 261
(3.3) Resolved without a hearing 4725
Percent = [94[3.2(a)] + 261[3.2(b)] divided by 425[3.2] = .835 x 100 = 84%.

Discussion of Improvement Activities Completed and Explanation of Progress or Slippage that occurred for FFY 2009:

Explanation of Progress or Slippage

The percentage of adjudicated hearings completed in a timely manner increased from 81 percent in FFY 2008 to 84 percent in FFY 2009, an increase of three percentage points.

The number of IHOs with five or more late decisions was reduced from 13 in 2007-08 to six in 2008-09 and five in 2009-10.  Based on NYS Regulations, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) continues to notify IHOs when decisions are late, and uses progressive notifications that culminate in decertification.

Improvement Activities Completed in FFY 2009:

See revisions to improvement activities below.

Additional Information Required by the Office of Special Education Programs (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 necessary, to ensure they will enable the State to provide data in the FFY 2009 APR demonstrating that the State is in compliance with the due process hearing timeline requirements in 34 CFR §300.515. In the February 13, 2009 verification letter, the State was required to review its improvement activities and revise them, if appropriate to ensure that the State would be able to provide data in the FFY 2008 APR that demonstrates compliance.  As the data reported for this indicator demonstrate, the State is still not ensuring compliance with the timely due process hearing decisions requirements. The State demonstrated progress in ensuring timely IHO decisions, but did not achieve full compliance.  The State took significant actions to revise its improvement activities. 
See below.

Revisions, with Justification, to Proposed Targets / Improvement Activities / Timelines / Resources for FFY 2009 [If applicable]

  • The State trained and certified 32 additional IHOs to serve in the NYC region to ensure sufficient numbers of IHOs available to issue timely decisions.
  • The Office of Special Education accessed federal technical assistance to further inform its activities to improve due process timelines on the following occasions:
  •  NYSED obtained assistance from the Northeast Regional Resource Center (NERRC) to access a presenter for the Annual Update Training for Certified IHOs on March 18 and April 21, 2010. 
  •   NYSED provided training for new IHOs in July 2010, and participants were provided with a list of resources, which included web links for USED’s published documents (http:///www2.ed.gov/news/fedregister/index.htmlexternal link) and OSEP (http://idea.ed.govexternal link).
  • Beginning in January 2009, the Office of Special Education 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.  The following types of notices were sent to IHOs in FFY 2008 and FFY 2009, demonstrating a decrease in the number of late decisions where IHOs were unresponsive in remediating the issue and in the number of IHOs issuing late decisions.
Type of Notice sent # of notices sent in 
2008-09
# of IHOs who received notices in 2008-09 # of notices sent in
2009-10
# of IHOs who received notices in 2009-10
Noncompliance Alert 56 12 15 7
Notice of Noncompliance 14  5  2 2
Notice of Continuing Noncompliance  7  2  0 0
Second Notice of Continuing Noncompliance  4  1  0 0
  • Beginning in 2010, the State required each NYS certified IHO to attend twelve hours of annual update training sessions, an increase over the previous six hours required every two years.
  • In FFY 2009, IHOs received copies of trend data regarding their individual performance. IHOs with a history of late decisions in the past three years and/or a history of closing cases where they had approved five or more extensions, were asked to review their practices.  During IHO retraining programs, IHOs were provided guidance and technical assistance in using the IHO Toolbox, an on-line resource to aid in timeline management.
  • The Impartial Hearing Reporting System (IHRS) Help file continues to be updated to provide technical assistance to IHOs and school districts regarding the impartial hearing process and timelines.
  • Monthly phone conferences were conducted by the NYS Office of Special Education  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.
  • Monthly meetings occur between the Information Technology departments of the IHRS Office and the NYC Impartial Hearing Office and representatives from both of the related program offices to coordinate an automated transfer of information between the two impartial hearing recording systems.  This efficient transfer of information allows for better monitoring of cases and timelines.
  • IHRS staff provided reminders and offered school districts and IHOs technical assistance regarding cases identified as five or more days late.
Last Updated: February 28, 2011