Parents who use the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act’s complaint procedures are significantly more likely to have hearings ruled in their favor than parents who go through the more commonly used hearing officer, says a new study in the Journal of Special Education Leadership.
Researchers analyzed random samples of 50 IDEA rulings based on complaint procedures and 50 based on hearing officers in each of five states. They found that for rulings based on complaint procedures, parents succeeded in their claims half the time, while they succeeded only 24 percent of the time a hearing officer was used. Parents were also less likely to succeed before a hearing officer when they did not have their own lawyer, the study found.
A version of this article appeared in the November 01, 2017 edition of Education Week as Special Education