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Title XI EDUCATION AND LIBRARIES

Chapter 162

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  162.961.  Due process hearing before administrative hearing commission — written decision — expedited hearing — forty-five day placement — hearing requirements — preliminary meeting. — 1.  A parent, guardian or the responsible educational agency may request a due process hearing before the administrative hearing commission with respect to any matter relating to identification, evaluation, educational placement, or the provision of a free appropriate public education of the child.  Such request shall include the child's name, address, school, issue, and suggested resolution of dispute if known.  Except as provided in subsection 4 of this section, the * administrative hearing commission shall within fifteen days after receiving notice assign a commissioner who is not an employee of the state board of education or department of elementary and secondary education to hear the case.  Commissioners shall have some knowledge or training involving children with disabilities, shall not have a personal or professional interest which would conflict with his or her objectivity in the hearing, and shall meet the training and assessment requirements pursuant to state regulations, federal law and regulation requirements of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, and the requirements in section 621.253.  No commissioner who conducts a due process hearing shall have been employed within the last five years by a school district or by an organization engaged in special education parent and student advocacy, performed work for a school district or for a parent or student as a special education advocate within the last five years as an independent contractor or consultant, been employed within the last five years by the state board of education or department of elementary and secondary education, or performed work for the state board of education or department of elementary and secondary education within the last five years as an independent contractor or consultant, or been party to a special education proceeding as an attorney, parent, or child.  During the pendency of any hearing, or prior to the assignment of the commissioner, the parties may, by mutual agreement, submit their dispute to a mediator pursuant to section 162.959.

  2.  The parent or guardian, school official, and other persons affected by the action in question shall present at the hearing all pertinent evidence relative to the matter under appeal.  All rights and privileges as described in section 162.963 shall be permitted.

  3.  After review of all evidence presented and a proper deliberation, the commissioner, within the time lines required by the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. Section 1415 and any amendments thereto, shall determine its findings, conclusions, and decision in the matter in question and forward the written decision to the parents or guardian of the child and to the president of the appropriate local board of education or responsible educational agency and to the department of elementary and secondary education.  A specific extension of the time line may be made by the commissioner assigned to the matter at the request of either party, except in the case of an expedited hearing as provided in subsection 4 of this section.

  4.  An expedited due process hearing by the administrative hearing commission may be requested by a parent to challenge a disciplinary change of placement or to challenge a manifestation determination in connection with a disciplinary change of placement or by a responsible educational agency to seek a forty-five school day alternative educational placement for a dangerous or violent student.  The administrative hearing commission shall assign a commissioner to hear the case and render a decision within the time line required by federal law and state regulations implementing federal law.  A specific extension of the time line is only permissible to the extent consistent with federal law and pursuant to state regulations.

  5.  If the responsible public agency requests a due process hearing to seek a forty-five school day alternative educational placement for a dangerous or violent student, the agency shall show by substantial evidence that there is a substantial likelihood the student will injure himself or others and that the agency made reasonable efforts to minimize that risk, and shall show that the forty-five school day alternative educational placement will provide a free appropriate public education which includes services and modifications to address the behavior so that it does not reoccur, and continue to allow progress in the general education curriculum.

  6.  Any due process hearing request and responses to the request shall conform to the requirements of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  Determination of the sufficiency shall be made by the commissioner.  The commissioner shall enforce the process and procedures, including time lines, required by the IDEA, related to sufficiency of notice, response to notice, determination of sufficiency dispute, and amendments of the notice.

  7.  A preliminary meeting, known as a resolution session, shall be convened by the responsible public agency, under the requirements of the IDEA.  The process and procedures required by the IDEA in connection to the resolution session and any resulting written settlement agreement shall be implemented.  The responsible public agency or its designee shall sign the agreement.  The designee identified by the responsible public agency shall have the authority to bind the agency.  A local board of education, as a responsible public agency, shall identify a designee with authority to bind the school district.

  8.  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, when conducting a due process hearing, the administrative hearing commission shall conform all of its practices, procedures, filing deadlines, and response times to the requirements of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

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(L. 1977 H.B. 130, A.L. 1979 H.B. 343, A.L. 1992 H.B. 1151, A.L. 1994 H.B. 1397, A.L. 1996 H.B. 1376 & 1501, A.L. 1998 H.B. 1683, A.L. 2002 H.B. 2023, A.L. 2005 H.B. 276, A.L. 2006 S.B. 834, A.L. 2009 H.B. 289, A.L. 2012 S.B. 595)

(Source: RSMo Supp. 1975 § 162.960)

*Word "the" appears here in original rolls of S.B. 595, 2012.


---- end of effective   28 Aug 2012 ----

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