The guidance provided in this section presumes that the parent is the Respondent who already received a Request for Review and intends to respond in an Answer. In this case, the district is the Petitioner in the appeal to the State Review Officer. However, if those roles are reversed, a Respondent school district would follow the same rules in a similar manner in order to serve and file an Answer upon a parent Petitioner.
A school district's Request for Review is usually served on a parent by hand-delivery. After the school district serves you with the Request for Review, you may prepare an Answer. You must serve the school district with the Answer within 5 business days after the District serves you with the Request for Review. You may request an extension of this deadline from the State Review Officer.
After reading the Request for Review, decide whether you disagree with any of the District's statements in the Request for Review. In your Answer, you should respond to each issue identified by the District in the Request for Review. If the IHO did not rule on issues that were written in the due process complaint notice that you want a State Review Officer to review, identify them in your Answer.
a. The Answer should be typewritten using standard double-spacing, in 12-point Times New Roman font, on standard 8 1/2 by 11 inch white paper, and no longer than 10 pages. Margins should be no smaller than 1 inch.
b. A caption or heading should appear in the upper left hand corner of the first page of the Answer, listing the same parental and school district parties that appear on the school district's Notice of Intention to Seek Review and its Notice of Request for Review.
c. Begin the Answer by identifying yourself as the parent or person in parental relationship to the child.
d. With the IHO's decision and the school district's Request for Review in mind, explain to the State Review Officer whether you agree or disagree with each of the school district's challenges to the IHO's decision. Briefly explain to the State Review Officer the reasons why you believe that the decision of the hearing officer should not be changed. If possible, you should refer to the evidence in the record, such as the page numbers from the written transcript of the hearing or written documents which were presented at the hearing, to support your argument. For example, "Tr. pp. 365-70" means that the State Review Officer should focus on or be convinced of your point that you are writing about by looking at pages 365 through 370 of the hearing transcript, and "Parent Ex. Q at p. 8" means that the State Review Officer should focus on or be convinced by the information on page 8 of Parent's documentary exhibit Q.
e. You may also submit written argument in the form of a Memorandum of Law with your Answer. The Memorandum of Law in support of an Answer must not exceed 30 pages in length.
Please Note: To facilitate processing, the Office of State Review encourages parties to use regular staples only to fasten pages together and discourages parties from using binding systems for papers submitted to the Office of State Review (i.e. comb binding, velobinding, tape binding, etc.)
f. If you have prepared the Answer but find you are
- in disagreement with some parts of the IHO's decision,
- asking the State Review Officer to change the IHO's decision, or
- asking the State Review Officer to go beyond the matters that were ruled on in your favor in the IHO's decision
then you should consider filing an Answer with Cross-Appeal which, will allow you to respond to districts appeal and challenge those parts of the IHO's decision that you believe should be changed. The instructions for filing an Answer and Cross Appeal are contained in Section III of this Parent Guide.
3. Affidavit of Verification (Form D / Form D)
In the Affidavit of Verification, you make an oath in front of any person authorized to administer oaths in New York State (such as a Notary Public or Commissioner of Deeds) that the statements in the Answer are true to the best of your knowledge. You will usually find a Notary Public or a Commissioner of Deeds in a government office, a bank, or by searching the internet for a notary in your area.