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2. Require either party to provide notice to the other party.

The public agency must have procedures that require either party, or the attorney representing a party, to provide to the other party a request for a due process complaint (which must remain confidential). The party filing a due process complaint must forward a copy of the due process complaint to the State educational agency (SEA).

The due process complaint required in 34 CFR 300.508(a)(1) must include:
  • The name of the child;
  • The address of the residence of the child;
  • The name of the school the child is attending;
  • In the case of a homeless child or youth (within the meaning of section 725(2) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11434a(2)), available contact information for the child, and the name of the school the child is attending;
  • A description of the nature of the problem of the child relating to the proposed or refused initiation or change, including facts relating to the problem; and
  • A proposed resolution of the problem to the extent known and available to the party at the time.
[34 CFR 300.508(a) and (b)] [20 U.S.C. 1415(b)(7)(A)]

Each SEA must develop model forms to assist parents and public agencies in filing a due process complaint in accordance with 34 CFR 300.507(a) and 300.508(a)-(c)….Parents, public agencies, and other parties may use the appropriate model form described in 34 CFR 300.509(a), or another form or other document, so long as the form or document that is used meets, as appropriate, the content requirements in 34 CFR 300.508(b) for filing a due process complaint….
[34 CFR 300.509] [20 U.S.C. 1415(b)(8)]

A party may not have a hearing on a due process complaint until the party, or the attorney representing the party, files a due process complaint that meets the requirements of 34 CFR 300.508(b).
[34 CFR 300.508(c)] [20 U.S.C. 1415(b)(7)(B))

The due process complaint must be deemed sufficient unless the party receiving the due process complaint notifies the hearing officer and the other party in writing, within 15 days of receipt of the due process complaint, that the receiving party believes the due process complaint does not meet the requirements in 34 CFR 300.508(b).
[34 CFR 300.508(d)(1)] [20 U.S.C. 1415(c)(2)(A), 1415(c)(2)(C)]

Dialogue Starter - Cross-stakeholder

Reaction Questions

  1. What are some reasons it is important that both the parent and the LEA be allowed to request a due process hearing?

  2. Why is it important that either party provide notice to the other party when a request for due process hearing is initiated?

  3. What are the potential ramifications for the family and the LEA when a due process complaint is filed?

  4. Why is it important that the notice be deemed sufficient?

  5. How would you define “sufficient notice”?

  6. What barriers might these due process complaint procedures and requirements pose for some families (e.g., non-English speakers, those with low literacy skills, and those with physical, emotional, learning, and cognitive disabilities)?

Application Questions

  1. What information and assistance might an SEA or LEA provide to a parent who files a due process complaint?

  2. Upon the filing of a due process complaint, what procedures might an LEA have in place to ensure entitlement to FAPE as the complaint process moves forward? Who determines if a notice is “sufficient” and what criteria should be applied?

  3. What guidance might the SEA offer to parents, and those assessing parents (e.g., protection and advocacy organizations, parent information and training centers, etc.), in developing a sufficient notice?

  4. How would the process change for a homeless child or youth? (reference Surrogate Parent section).

    These questions were developed by the following stakeholders working together:

    Role: General Education Administrator
    Location: California

    Role: Educational Consultant
    Location: Florida

    Role: Higher Education
    Location: Indiana

    Role: Administrator
    Location: Illinois

    Role: Special Education Administrator
    Location: Kentucky

    Role: Family Member
    Location: New Jersey

    Role: Teacher
    Location: West Virginia