What are the Due Process Procedures?

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§504 requires that school districts have a procedure for conducting impartial due process hearings with the opportunity for participation by the student’s parents or guardian and representation by counsel. Either the parent or the school district may request a hearing.


A due process hearing is a legal procedure, which is conducted by an Impartial Hearing Officer (IHO).


Parents requesting a hearing should submit a written request to the District §504 Coordinator and include the following information:


• The name of the child and the person making the request;

• The address of the residence of the child;

• The name of the school that the child is attending;

• In the case of a homeless child or youth (within the meaning of section 725(2) of the

McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11434a(2)) available contact

information for the child, and the name of the school that the child is attending;

• A description of the nature of the problem relating to alleged discrimination under

§504, including facts relating to the problem;

• A proposed resolution of the problem to the extent known and available to the party

at the time;

• A suitable time for the hearing;

• Two possible dates for the hearing; and

• Indication of whether the hearing will be closed or open to the public.


The Impartial Hearing Officer must conduct the due process hearing and render a decision no more than 45 days from the date that the District received the parent’s request for the hearing. The Impartial Hearing Officer may grant a continuance at the request of one of the parties, if the both parties agree.


During The Hearing


• Parents and the District may be represented by legal counsel or some other professional who may be knowledgeable about the child (if allowed by the Impartial Hearing Officer).

• The District and the parents may present evidence, and question and cross-examine witnesses who know about the child’s disability.

• The child may be present at the hearing.

• After the Impartial Hearing Officer has heard the case, s/he will give a written


• The Impartial Hearing Officer is impartial, and is not an employee of any school

district. S/he will be well trained and understand what the law requires for children with special needs.


After The Hearing

• The parents will, upon request, receive an audio recording of all that was said at the hearing at no cost to them.

• A copy of the Impartial Hearing Officer’s decision will be given to both the District and the parents. The Impartial Hearing Officer must render a decision within 45 days after the District’s receipt of the request for a §504 Due Process Hearing. This can only be delayed if the District and the parents agree to the delay or the Impartial Hearing Officer has granted a continuance at the request of one of the parties.

• The decision made by the Impartial Hearing Officer is final unless the parents or the District appeal the decision to the appropriate state or federal court