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PROCEDURAL SAFEGUARDS: DUE PROCESS HEARINGS - Statute

2. Specifies the timeline for requesting a due process hearing.
The procedures required by Section 615 shall include … an opportunity for any party to request a due process hearing regarding an alleged violation that occurred not more than two years before the date the parent or public agency knew or should have known about the alleged action that forms the basis of the request for a due process hearing, or, if the state has an explicit time limitation for presenting such a request under Part B, in such time as the state law allows, except that the exceptions to the timeline described in Section 615(f)(3)(D) shall apply…. [615(b)(6)(B)]

A parent or agency shall request an impartial due process hearing within two years of the date the parent or agency knew or should have known about the alleged action that forms the basis of the request for a due process hearing, or, if the state has an explicit time limitation for requesting such a hearing under Part B, in such time as the state law allows. [615(f)(3)(C)]

The timeline described in Section 615(f)(3)(C) shall not apply to a parent if the parent was prevented from requesting the hearing due to:
  • Specific misrepresentations by the local education agency (LEA) that it had resolved the problem forming the basis of the request for a due process hearing; or
  • The LEA’s withholding of information from the parent that was required under Part B to be provided to the parent.
[615(f)(3)(D)]

Dialogue Starter - Cross-stakeholder

Reaction Questions

  1. In retrospect, how might this new provision have impacted the outcome of a due process hearing in which the complaint was filed after the 2year deadline?


  2. How will the 2 year deadline for filing a complaint impact practice?


  3. Why is it important for educators and administrators to understand the 2 year timeline with respect to:
    • practicality, given hectic schedules
    • program development and service delivery
    • relationships among all parties (e.g., child, parent, teacher, and administration)


  4. Why is it important for parents to understand what “should have known” means?


  5. From your experience, why would a parent withhold information?


  6. What responsibility does the parent have to provide information to the LEA?


Application Questions

  1. How might a State Education Agency (SEA) or Local Education Agency (LEA) define “misrepresentation” of information with respect to the exception of the 2 year timeline?


  2. How might an SEA or LEA define “withheld information” with respect to the exception of the 2 year timeline?


  3. How does a State’s non education statutes on the statute of limitations relate to the explicit 2 year timeframe?


  4. What are the guidelines for information disclosure from parents and LEAs with regards to shared knowledge and understanding of providing a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)?

    These questions were developed by the following stakeholders working together:

    Role: National Family Advocacy Organization
    Location: Minnesota
    Role: Assistant Superintendent
    Location: Michigan
    Role: Family Advocate
    Location: Maryland
    Role: National TA Provider
    Location: Oregon
    Role: Principal
    Location: Virginia
    Role: State Education Agency
    Location: Pennsylvania
    Role: TA Provider
    Location: Washington, D.C.
    Role: Family Advocate
    Location: Tennessee