Monday, April 16, 2012

SEAP on Due Process

Special Education Advisory Panel Meeting
March 2, 2012

Members in Attendance
Scott Montgomery
Diana Taylor-Soole
Sue Sharp
Laura Moseley
Lisa Slattery
Deena Ring
Jerry Neal
Lori Christensen
Angela Brown
Lauren Zeliff
Doreen Frappier
Heath Dillard
Tammy Pence
Dorothy Parks
Russ Brock
Martha Crabtree
Steve McDannold
Thurma DeLoach
Danny Tipton
Stephen Barr
Jamey McVicker
Members Not in Attendance
Jennifer Bax
Donna Cash
Karen Downs
Patricia Kopetz
Byron Koster
Ashley Krause
Judy Ray
Mary Kay Savage
Pam Schneeflock

Due Process – Stephen Barr (DESE Assistant Commissioner Office of Special Education) reminded the SEAP about the discussion at the last meeting. In the mean time, a bill was initiated by Senator Krause at the request of parents. The bill recommends due process cases be sent to an administrative hearing commissioner instead of the current three member panel.

Cynthia reviewed what she discussed at the last meeting. There have been concerns about the length of time it takes for the hearings to be scheduled and the perception that hearing panel members may be biased since one is picked by the school and one is picked by the parent. The third person on the hearing officer panel is the chairperson and must be an attorney. Multiple options were given to the SEAP for their consideration and they were asked to provide their recommendations.

Subcommittees met from 12:45 p.m. – 1:40 p.m. - The subcommittees discussed the due process issue.

The monitoring subcommittee felt that the Department should retain the three member panel and suggested that more training be provided for all panel members.

Jerry Neal (Representative of Higher Learning University of Central Missouri) made a motion that the administrative hearing commissioner or whoever hears the due process case should not have worked in a school district for at least five years and should not have worked as an advocate or consultant or have had the parent or family member as a client in the past five years. The motion was seconded. Motion passed.

Lisa Slattery (Springfield Special Education PTA) made a motion that no changes be made to item #8 of Senate Bill 595 (wording below). The motion was seconded. Motion passed.

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).

Lisa Slattery made a motion to continue with the three member panel. The motion was seconded. Nine panel members voted in favor while six members voted against. Motion passed.

The panel discussed the need for more training for all hearing panel members; at a minimum, training should be provided every two years. Jamey McVicker (Firefighter) made a motion that due process panel members receive training every two years. The motion was seconded. Motion passed.