NOTE: These instructions are only intended to serve as an additional aid to petitioners who are not represented by an attorney. The full set of rules of procedure are found in the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education (Part 279 (located on this site) and Parts 276 and 275 located on the Department's Office of Counsel site).
If you are dissatisfied with the decision of the impartial hearing officer related to the identification, evaluation, program or placement of a student with a disability, you may proceed with an appeal to a State Review Officer. This appeal is a request for review of the impartial hearing officer's decision. The decision of a State Review Officer will be based on the hearing record. It is very important that the procedures required for appeal are followed. As you proceed with this appeal, it will be helpful to keep the following in mind:
Petition: the petition for review must clearly indicate the reasons for challenging the impartial hearing officer's decision, identify the findings, conclusions and orders to which exceptions are taken, and shall indicate what relief should be granted by a State Review Officer to the petitioner.
Petitioner: is the person or party that initiates the appeal (either the parent or the Board of Education of your school district).
Respondent: is the party that must answer the issues in the petition (either the parent or the Board of Education of your school district).
Parents or legal guardians may initiate an appeal on behalf of the child.
The procedures and timelines described on this site must be followed carefully. The procedures described herein assume that a parent is the petitioner. An appeal should be based solely upon the documents presented and the testimony given at the impartial hearing.
A new guide for unrepresented parents that addresses revisions to Part 279 effective January 1, 2017 is being developed by the Office of State Review and may be found here.