Special Education Due Process Hearings
News & Announcements
In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency and direct exposure risks in the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) building, VDOE employees have been ordered to refrain from working onsite and have extremely limited access to the building. To the extent possible, VDOE employees are working remotely and will make reasonable efforts to check U.S. mail, deliveries, and fax correspondence when access is permitted. However, there is likely to be an unavoidable delay in the receipt and processing of U.S. mail, deliveries, and fax correspondence sent to VDOE. Please be reminded that you may seek technical assistance regarding special education as well as file State Complaints, Due Process Complaints, and Mediation via email to ODRAS@doe.virginia.gov. Please visit our COVID-19 and Virginia Public Schools page for additional resources and guidance regarding the impact of the COVID-19 public health emergency on Special Education in Virginia.
The Office of Dispute Resolution and Administrative Services is charged with the responsibility of managing and monitoring a due process hearing system. We provide information to help individuals understand the steps for requesting and managing an impartial due process hearing. This information is not intended as legal advice or as an interpretation of the laws and regulations governing special education in Virginia. The information will, however, help in understanding the implementation of these laws and regulations.
- Summary of Requirements for Due Process Hearings (PDF) – Navigating the Maze of the new Due Process Requirements
What is a special education due process hearing?
The due process hearing is an impartial procedure used to resolve disagreements over issues related to special education services that arise between a parent and a school division. The right of the parents or the school division to request a due process hearing is guaranteed by federal and state laws governing the education of children with disabilities.
What is the difference between a special education complaint and a due process hearing?
A complaint can be filed by anyone. The complaint process usually involves a review of the alleged procedural violations. An example would be a situation where services are not being provided to a child with a disability in accordance with the student's Individualized Education program (IEP). A complaint can also focus on any particular process or procedure that is a violation of special education law or regulation.
A due process hearing is a process wherein a party alleges an issue relating to the identification, evaluation, or education of a child, or the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) for the child. Due process hearings are likely to involve disputes between the parent and the local school division over the appropriateness or nature of the student's program or services.
Due Process Documents
- Parental Due Process form-This is a Word document.
- Parents' Guide to Special Education Dispute Resolution-This is a PDF document.
- List of Due Process Hearing Officers-This is a Word document.
- Implementation Plan-This is a Word document.
- Legal / Advocacy Groups and Resources for Special Education-This is a PDF document.
- Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE) guide to IDEA Special Education Resolution Meetings-This is a PDF document.
- Managing the Timeline in Due Process Hearings Guidance Document for Special Education Hearing Officers-This is a PDF document.
- Navigating the Maze of Due Process-This is a PDF document.
Hearing Officer Decisions (by fiscal year)
The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) publishes its hearing officer decisions to promote a better understanding of the special education due process procedure, agency policy, and the application of special education regulations.
To achieve an appropriate balance between a citizen's rights to access records of governmental activities and privacy concerns, the VDOE will publish the hearing officer decisions in a manner that preserves personal privacy. To do so, the VDOE removes any information that could possibly identify the student or removes information that could be used to determine the identity of a student by inference.