Part B State Performance Plan (SPP) for 2005-2010

Overview of the State Performance Plan Development

See Overview of State Performance Plan Development preceding Indicator #1. 

Monitoring Priority:  Effective General Supervision Part B / General Supervision

 

Indicator 17:  Percent of fully 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.

 (20 U.S.C. 1416(a)(3)(B))

Measurement:

Percent = (3.2(a) + 3.2(b)) divided by (3.2) times 100. (See Attachment 1)

Overview of Issue/Description of System or Process

Section 4404 of NYS Education Law and section 200.5 of the Commissioner’s Regulations establish the procedures for impartial hearings.  The board of education (BOE) must begin the process to select and appoint an impartial hearing officer (IHO) no later than two business days after receipt of the request. The IHO is expected to initiate the hearing within 14 days of receipt of the notification of the end of the resolution session. The IHO has to render a decision no later than 45 calendar days after the completion or written waiver of the resolution session for a school age child, 30 calendar days after the completion or written waiver of the resolution session for a preschool child and 15 days after a request for a an expedited impartial hearing involving discipline.

At the request of either party the IHO may extend the time for a specific period. NYS regulation limits any extension to 30 days. NYS regulations also indicate “absent a compelling reason or a specific showing of substantial hardship, a request for an extension shall not be granted because of school vacations, a lack of availability resulting from the parties' and/or representatives' scheduling conflicts, settlement discussions between the parties or other similar reasons. Agreement of the parties is not a sufficient basis for granting an extension.”

For school age and preschool cases where extensions of time have been granted beyond the applicable required timelines, the decision must be rendered and mailed no later than 14 days from the date the IHO closes the record. For expedited impartial hearings for disciplinary cases, the decision must be rendered no later than five business days after the last hearing date, but no later than 45 calendar days after receipt of the hearing request.

School districts are required to report data regarding the impartial hearing process, including IHO appointments, timelines, extensions, and closures through Impartial Hearing Reporting System (IHRS).  IHRS is a web-based system and provides real time information.  Each school district and IHO has access to information on any case in which they are involved. 

IHRS is used to monitor the timeliness of BOE appointments of IHOs and whether a decision is rendered within the timelines specified above.  On a daily basis, IHRS sends an initial notification to any school district that fails to make a timely IHO appointment and to both the school district and IHO if a decision is not rendered within the appropriate time lines.  A second notification is sent to the school district and the IHO if a decision continues to be late for four days beyond the compliance date.  E-mail responses to the initial and second notifications are monitored. If either the school district or IHO fail to respond to the notifications, personal contact is made to determine if the lateness is a school district data entry issue or if the IHO has failed to render the decision within the timeline or extended timeline. 

Baseline Data for FFY 2004 (2004-2005) 

The percent of due process hearing requests that were fully adjudicated within the 45-day timeline or a timeline that was properly extended by the hearing officer at the request of either party was 83.5 percent. 

7/1/2004 - 6/30/2005

 3.      Hearing Request Total

5422

 3.2    Hearings Fully Adjudicated

1294

 3.2a  Within Timeline

481

 3.2b  Within Extended Timeline

599

 3.3    Resolved w/o Hearing

3900

Measurement Formula: 481 (3.2a) + 599 (3.2b) = 1080 divided by 1294 (3.2) = .8346 X   100 = 83.5%

 

Discussion of Baseline Data

Measurable and Rigorous Targets

 

FFY

Measurable and Rigorous Target

2005
(2005-06)

100 percent of impartial hearing decisions will be rendered within regulatory timelines.

2006
(2006-07)

100 percent of impartial hearing decisions will be rendered within regulatory timelines.

2007
(2007-08)

100 percent of impartial hearing decisions will be rendered within regulatory timelines.

2008
(2008-09)

100 percent of impartial hearing decisions will be rendered within regulatory timelines.

2009
(2009-10)

100 percent of impartial hearing decisions will be rendered within regulatory timelines.

2010
(2010-11)

100 percent of impartial hearing decisions will be rendered within regulatory timelines.

 

Improvement Activities/Timelines/Resources

 

Activity

Timeline

Resources

Improve the capacity of IHRS to monitor the timeliness of impartial hearing requests through the development of an electronic file transfer process between IHRS and the NYC Impartial Hearing System and revise IHRS to include additional monitoring points and proactive notifications.

2005-06

VESID Staff, IHRS - $170,000 in 2005-06 for data collection system revisions

Continue to use IHRS to monitor timeliness and investigate both school districts and IHOs that may be responsible for the appearance of lateness of a decision.  Develop reports that provide feedback to IHOs relative to their use of extensions and timeliness in conducting hearings.

2005-11

VESID staff and IHRS

Provide bi-annual update training to IHOs.

2005-11

SED staff and contractor - $150,000 in 2005-06

Consortium for Appropriate Dispute Resolutions in Special Education (CADRE)

www.directionservice.org/cadre

Revise and reissue written guidance on impartial hearings.

2005-06

Guidance document: Impartial Hearing Process for Students with Disabilities