Schools Warned On Pushing Families Into Due Process - Disability Scoop

Schools Warned On Pushing Families Into Due Process - Disability Scoop



Lee's Summit has a history of forcing parents into due process.  Families are forced to hire attorney and spend tens of thousands of dollars and then they lose.  They don't lose because their cases aren't good.  They lose because the hearing panel hasn't ruled in favor in families for three years.  They system is corrupt.  



Here is what Jerry Keimig told OSEP when I turned to them for help.  He welcomed me to file due process.  He knew that I wouldn't win even though the district was out of compliance.



"We would welcome an opportunity to present the district view to an independent
panel either through a DESE child complaint or a due process hearing."




Federal education officials are warning school districts to think
twice before forcing parents into potentially long and costly due
process proceedings.





Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, families may
pursue due process or file a state complaint if they don’t believe their
child has been provided appropriate school services.





However, in a “Dear Colleague” letter
to education leaders across the country, officials at the U.S.
Department of Education said this month that they are concerned that
some school districts are moving to file for due process over issues
that parents have already chosen to address via state complaints.





Such circumstances can put parents in a tough spot, the guidance
notes, because states are required to wait for a due process hearing to
conclude before they can take up any portion of a state complaint that
is also the subject of a due process proceeding.





“It appears that in some instances, public agencies may have filed
due process complaints against parents in an effort to prevent the state
complaint process from moving forward,” reads the letter from Sue
Swenson, acting assistant secretary for special education and
rehabilitative services, and Melody Musgrove, director of the Office of
Special Education Programs.





“This type of action … may unreasonably limit parents’ dispute
resolution options, and force parents either to participate in a
potentially more adversarial, lengthy and costly due process complaint
and hearing, or to fail to participate in the due process complaint and
hearing and thereby risk the hearing official’s ruling in favor of the
public agency,” the guidance states
.





The Education Department told stakeholders that it “strongly
believes” that it’s best for school districts to honor the choices of
parents in selecting a forum for resolving special education disputes.





Pushing parents who have already filed a state complaint into due
process harms the “cooperative process” and is “contrary to
congressional intent,” according to the letter from Swenson and Musgrove
which urges schools to pursue mediation or other informal steps of
resolving issues before turning to due process.


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