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3. Specify timelines for actions related to receipt of a due process complaint.

If the LEA has not sent a prior written notice under 34 CFR 300.503 to the parent regarding the subject matter contained in the parent’s due process complaint, the LEA must, within ten days of receiving the due process request, send to the parent a response that includes:
  • An explanation of why the agency proposed or refused to take the action raised in the due process complaint;
  • A description of other options that the IEP Team considered and the reasons why those options were rejected;
  • A description of each evaluation procedure, assessment, record, or report the agency used as the basis for the proposed or refused action; and
  • A description of the other factors that are relevant to the agency’s proposed or refused action.
[34 CFR 300.508(e)(1)] [20 U.S.C. 1415(c)(2)(B)(i)(1)]

A response by an LEA under 34 CFR 300.508(e)(1) shall not be construed to preclude the LEA from asserting that the parent’s due process complaint was insufficient, where appropriate.
[34 CFR 300.508(e)(2)] [20 U.S.C. 1415(c)(2)(B)(i)(II)]

Except as provided in 34 CFR 300.508(e), the party receiving a due process complaint must, within ten days of receiving the due process complaint, send to the other party a response that specifically addresses the issues raised in the due process complaint.
[34 CFR 300.508(f)] [20 U.S.C. 1415(b)(7), 1415(c)(2)(B)(ii)]

Within five days of receipt of notification under 34 CFR 300.508(d)(1), the hearing officer must make a determination on the face of the due process complaint of whether the due process complaint meets the requirements of 34 CFR 300.508(b), and must immediately notify the parties in writing of that determination.
[34 CFR 300.508(d)(2)] [20 U.S.C. 1415(c)(2)(D)]

A party may amend its due process complaint only if:
  • The other party consents in writing to the amendment and is given the opportunity to resolve the due process complaint through a meeting held pursuant to 34 CFR 300.510; or

  • The hearing officer grants permission, except that the hearing officer may only grant permission to amend at any time not later than five days before the due process hearing begins.
If a party files an amended due process complaint, the timelines for the resolution meeting in 34 CFR 300.510(a) and the time period to resolve in 34 CFR 300.510(b) begin again with the filing of the amended due process complaint.
[34 CFR 300.508(d)(3) and (4)] [20 U.S.C. 1415(c)(2)(E)]

Dialogue Starter - Cross-stakeholder

Reaction Questions

  1. Describe the process currently in place within your LEA relative to responding to a due process complaint.
    • In your experience, is the current process as effective as it should be?
    • If not, what would you suggest doing differently in light of these regulations?

  2. Under what circumstances might an LEA have not sent a prior written notice under 34 CFR 300.503 to the parent regarding the subject matter contained in the parent’s due process complaint? Why do you think such a situation might happen?

  3. What resources are available in your district to assist families with process and timelines for due process complaints?

Application Questions

  1. What types of record-keeping systems might districts employ to keep track of due process complaints filed so they are followed up in a timely manner?

  2. What procedures would be helpful for teachers in responding to disagreements at the classroom level or student level?

  3. How might LEAs and SEAs prepare themselves to respond to disagreements from any party in a way that is non-confrontational?

  4. In what ways might this provision impact practice?

  5. How is the district going to decide whether a prior written notice was sent regarding the same issue upon which the complaint was filed, and who will make this judgment?

    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