Representation in Due Process Hearings

When school districts and families disagree over special education issues, the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 protect a parent’s right to request a due process hearing.

Preparing the evidence about the disputed issue is a critical step to making a winning argument. The Pennsylvania lawyers for special education litigation at The Education Lawyers of Jacobson & John LLP have deep experience representing families in these difficult matters.

How Due Process Hearings Work

At a special education due process hearing, parents and the school district prepare and submit evidence about the disputed issue. Witnesses are called to testify before a hearing officer. At the end of the administrative hearing, the hearing officer issues a decision.

If the outcome of the hearing does not go in a family’s favor, the next step would be to appeal the decision to a state or federal court.

Parents commonly request due process hearings when:

  • Failure to identify a child as eligible for special education support under Section 504 or the IDEA.
  • They feel their child has been denied a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).
  • They believe their child’s IEP or 504 Plan is not being implemented appropriately.
  • They believe the school district has failed to provide necessary related services such as speech, physical or occupational therapies, psychological counseling, or other behavioral services.
  • They have been unable to resolve the differences with the school district and feel an impartial third party needs to get involved.
  • The District is seeking to discipline their child for conduct that is a manifestation of his or her disability.

Regardless of the circumstance that has led you to seek out legal counsel, our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to support your efforts to obtain a just outcome for your child.