2011 Oregon Revised Statutes
ORS Volume 9, Chapters 326 - 365
ORS Chapter 343
343.165 Circumstances requiring hearing; deadline for requesting hearing; rules; expedited hearing; independent hearing officer.
(1) A hearing shall be conducted pursuant to rules of the State Board of Education if:
(a) The parent requests a hearing to contest the determination of the school district concerning the identification, evaluation, individualized education program, educational placement or the provision of a free appropriate public education to the child; or
(b) The school district requests a hearing to obtain a decision regarding whether its identification, evaluation, individualized education program or educational placement of the child is appropriate or whether the district s proposed action is necessary to provide the child with a free appropriate public education.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1)(b) of this section, a school district may not request a hearing if a parent refuses or revokes consent for placement in a program providing special education and related services.
(3)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection, a hearing described in subsection (1) of this section must be requested within two years after the date of the act or omission that gives rise to the right to request a hearing under subsection (1) of this section.
(b) The timeline described in paragraph (a) of this subsection does not apply to a parent if the parent was prevented from requesting the hearing due to:
(A) Specific misrepresentations by the school district that it had resolved the problem forming the basis of the complaint; or
(B) The school district withholding from the parent information that the district was required to provide under this chapter.
(4) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules that establish when a school district is obligated to initiate a contested case hearing to ensure that a student with a disability is provided with a free appropriate public education.
(5) The board s rules in subsection (1) of this section shall be as consistent as possible with the procedures applicable to a contested case under ORS chapter 183. However, the board s rules shall provide that:
(a) Any party to a hearing has the right to prohibit the introduction of any evidence that has not been disclosed to that party at least five business days before the hearing; and
(b) The hearing officer may prohibit the introduction of any evidence regarding evaluations and recommendations based on those evaluations that a party intends to use at the hearing, if the evidence has not been disclosed to the other party at least five business days before the hearing, unless the other party consents to the introduction of the evidence.
(6) Notwithstanding subsection (5) of this section, in an expedited hearing the evidence must be disclosed to the other party not later than two business days before the hearing.
(7) The parent shall be entitled to have the child who is the subject of the hearing present at the hearing and to have the hearing open to the public.
(8) An expedited hearing shall be held if:
(a) In a dispute over a disciplinary action for a child with a disability, the child s parent disagrees with a determination that the child s behavior was not a manifestation of the child s disability or with any decision regarding the child s educational placement; or
(b) The school district believes that maintaining the current placement for the child is substantially likely to result in injury to the child or others.
(9) The hearing shall be conducted by an independent hearing officer appointed by the Superintendent of Public Instruction. The hearing officer:
(a) Shall not be:
(A) An employee of a school district involved in the education or care of the child;
(B) An employee of the Department of Education; or
(C) A person having any personal or professional interest that would conflict with the person s objectivity in the hearing.
(b) Shall possess:
(A) Knowledge of, and the ability to understand, the provisions of state and federal special education laws, regulations and legal interpretations by federal and state courts;
(B) The knowledge and ability to conduct hearings in accordance with appropriate standard legal practice; and
(C) The knowledge and ability to render and write decisions in accordance with standard legal practice. [1979 c.423 6 (enacted in lieu of 343.077); 1989 c.252 1; 1989 c.491 35; 1991 c.795 5; 1993 c.45 206; 1993 c.749 8; 1999 c.989 16; 2001 c.483 1; 2005 c.662 5; 2007 c.70 104; 2009 c.255 5]
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