POLICY LETTER: October 25, 2007 to Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities Education Team Manager Robert Jacobs MS Word
Dated October 25, 2007Robert Jacobs, J.D., Psy.D.Education Team ManagerAdvocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities, Inc.1000 N. Ashley Drive, Suite 640Tampa, FL 33602Dear Dr. Jacobs:This letter is in response to your electronic mail (email) correspondence to Elizabeth Newton, dated September 17, 2007. You request clarification pertaining to State educational agency (SEA) responsibilities pursuant to 34 CFR 300.514(b). You state that, in Florida, due process hearings are conducted by the Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH), yet there is no right of appeal to the SEA. You ask, "Under what circumstances is it permissible for an SEA to have another agency conduct the hearings but not provide appeals?"The SEA, or the public agency directly responsible for the education of the child, as determined by State statute, must conduct the due process hearing required by 34 CFR 300.511. 34 CFR 300.511(b). In carrying out this responsibility, the SEA may retain impartial hearing officers under contract to conduct hearings, provided that the hearing officers meet the requirements of 34 CFR 300.511(c). Thus, although the DOAH holds the due process hearings, it does so at the request of, and under contract with, the Florida Department of Education (FLDE). In fact, it is our office's understanding that the DOAH submits a recommended order to the FLDE, and the FLDE must decide whether to proceed with a final order. Therefore, the FLDE is considered the agency that conducts the due process hearings, and is responsible for ensuring that all requirements related to due process hearings are met.Moreover, 34 CFR 300.514(b)(1) states that, if the hearing required by 34 CFR 300.5cc: Bambi LockmanPage 2 - Robert Jacobs, J.D., Psy.D.