Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Breaking: New Law Review Article by Professor Mark Weber Defending IDEA Due Process Hearings

Gavel (Photo credit: walknboston)

Due process hearings under IDEA, the primary special education law, are under attack on many fronts. I have to admit to a bias here.  I have been an IDEA due process hearing officer for five different jurisdictions since 1989.  In addition, I have trained hearing officers around the country at national, regional and state specific hearing officer trainings.  I clearly have an investment in the current special education hearing system. So bear that in mind, but I stand by the following:

In recent years the special ed hearing system has come under attack.  School district lawyers and a few academics have squared off against it.  Last year the AASA, the school superintendent's association, issued a report calling on Congress to do away with due process hearings.  We had two posts about the AASA report here and here. Even some parents don't like the hearing process. See this post.

In this context of attacks upon the due process hearing system, a new law review article provides some important insights. Professor Mark Weber  is a true scholar in the field of special education law, and he is a friend of this blog as well as a friend of mine.  Professor Weber has written  a new law review article that defends the IDEA due process hearing system. He writes that "...some criticisms of hearing rights are flat-out wrong and that others are badly overblown. The system is, on the whole, fair to the various classes of parents..." He goes on to propose some modest reforms to the due process hearing system while defending the system in general. He concludes with the phrase "Don't dis due process." This law review article is a must read for those involved in special ed law.

The article will soon be published in the Ohio State Journal On Dispute Resolution,  but in the meantime you can find it on SSRN here. Thanks to Professor Weber for sharing this fantastic article.  Please read it and tell us what you think.

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