(a) Review by a State Review Officer of a determination made by an impartial hearing officer concerning the identification, evaluation, educational placement, provision of a free appropriate public education, or manifestation determination of a student with a disability pursuant to the provisions of article 89 of the Education Law and Part 200 of this Title may be obtained by either the parent or person in parental relationship of such student or the board of education or trustees of a school district (the parties). The provisions of this Part shall govern the practice on such reviews.
(b) As used in this Part, State Review Officer means an employee of the State Education Department designated by the commissioner to conduct impartial State-level review pursuant to Education Law, section 4404(2) of the determination of an impartial hearing officer in a hearing related to the identification, evaluation, educational placement, provision of a free appropriate public education, or manifestation determination of a student with a disability.
(c) Impartiality. The commissioner shall establish written procedures to ensure the impartiality of State Review Officers, which shall include, but need not be limited to, the following:
(1) State Review Officers shall not be designated to conduct State-level review with respect to a hearing to which the State Education Department, or any educational program operated by the State Education Department, is a party.
(2) State Review Officers shall not have jurisdiction to review the actions of any officer or employee of the State Education Department.
(3) State Review Officers shall be independent of, and shall not report to, the office of the State Education Department responsible for the general supervision of educational programs for students with disabilities.
(4) A State Review Officer shall have no personal, economic or professional interest in the hearing which he or she is assigned to review. A State Review Officer shall, on his or her own initiative or on application of any party, recuse himself or herself and transfer the appeal to another State Review Officer in the event that:
(i) such officer has in any way been substantially involved in the development of any State or local policy or procedure challenged by the hearing;
(ii) such officer has at any time been employed by a party to the hearing or by the attorney, law firm or other representative appearing on behalf of a party; or
(iii) such officer has at any time been personally involved in any aspect of the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of the student with a disability about whom the hearing is concerned, or of other similarly situated children in the school district which is a party to the hearing.
(5) A State Review Officer shall not be an individual previously employed by the State Education Department in a position requiring routine personal involvement in decisions made by local school districts regarding any aspect of the provision of free appropriate public education to students with disabilities.
(d) Any party to the State-level review process may challenge the impartiality of a State Review Officer on any of the grounds set forth in subdivision (c) of this section.
(e) The Office of State Review means the office within the State Education Department which assists State Review Officers in rendering their decisions.