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10. Specify parameters for hearing officer decisions.

Subject to paragraph 34 CFR 300.513(a)(2), a hearing officer’s determination of whether a child received a free appropriate public education (FAPE) must be based on substantive grounds.
[34 CFR 300.513(a)(1)] [20 U.S.C. 1415(f)(3)(E)(i)]

In matters alleging a procedural violation, a hearing officer may find that a child did not receive a FAPE only if the procedural inadequacies: Impeded the child’s right to a FAPE;
  • Significantly impeded the parent’s opportunity to participate in the decision-making process regarding the provision of a FAPE to the parent’s child; or
  • Caused a deprivation of educational benefit.
[34 CFR 300.513(a)(2)] [20 U.S.C. 1415(f)(3)(E)(ii)]

Nothing in 34 CFR 300.513(a) shall be construed to preclude a hearing officer from ordering an LEA to comply with procedural requirements under 34 CFR 300.500 through 300.536.
[34 CFR 300.513(a)(3)] [20 U.S.C. 1415(f)(3)(E)(iii)]

Nothing in 20 U.S.C. 1415(f)(3)(E) shall be construed to affect the right of a parent to file a complaint with the SEA.
[20 U.S.C. 1415(f)(3)(F)]

Dialogue Starter - Cross-stakeholder

Reaction Questions

  1. Why do you think this limitation is important to LEAs and parents alike?

  2. The majority of due process complaints are filed by parents, not LEAs. How will parents and school personnel receive the information they need to understand this limitation?

  3. In your opinion, why might a party agree to have issues outside of the due process complaint addressed at the hearing?

  4. In your opinion why might a party object to having the “extra” issues addressed at the hearing?

Application Questions

  1. What process can the LEA put in place to ensure that parents and school personnel understand the implications of this limitation?

    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