Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB5076
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Full Text of HB5076  97th General Assembly




State of Illinois
2011 and 2012


Introduced 2/7/2012, by Rep. Robyn Gabel


105 ILCS 5/14-6.01  from Ch. 122, par. 14-6.01
105 ILCS 5/14-8.02  from Ch. 122, par. 14-8.02
105 ILCS 5/14-8.02a

    Amends the Children with Disabilities Article of the School Code. Replaces provisions that specify when special education services shall be provided or the child must be placed in the appropriate program with provisions that require that special education and related services shall be provided in accordance with the student's IEP no later than 10 days after notice is provided to the parents pursuant to specified provisions of the Code of Federal Regulations and implementing rules adopted by the State Board of Education. Requires the State Board to adopt State complaint procedures that allow a parent, individual, organization, or advocate to file a signed, written complaint with the State Board alleging that a school district, cooperative service unit, or this State has violated the rights of one or more children with disabilities. Requires the school district or other public entity to submit a written response to the complaint within 10 days following receipt of the complaint. Contains provisions concerning documentation related to the complaint. Provides that State complaint procedures may be used to allege non-compliance by a school district or other public entity with a decision of a due process hearing officer. Makes changes concerning a student remaining in his or her present educational placement and continuing in his or her present eligibility status and special education services during the pendency of an administrative or judicial proceeding. Effective immediately.

LRB097 19068 NHT 64307 b






HB5076LRB097 19068 NHT 64307 b

1    AN ACT concerning education.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The School Code is amended by changing Sections
514-6.01, 14-8.02, and 14-8.02a as follows:
6    (105 ILCS 5/14-6.01)  (from Ch. 122, par. 14-6.01)
7    Sec. 14-6.01. Powers and duties of school boards. School
8boards of one or more school districts establishing and
9maintaining any of the educational facilities described in this
10Article shall, in connection therewith, exercise similar
11powers and duties as are prescribed by law for the
12establishment, maintenance and management of other recognized
13educational facilities. Such school boards shall include only
14eligible children in the program and shall comply with all the
15requirements of this Article and all rules and regulations
16established by the State Board of Education. Such school boards
17shall accept in part-time attendance children with
18disabilities of the types described in Sections 14-1.02 through
1914-1.07 who are enrolled in nonpublic schools. A request for
20part-time attendance must be submitted by a parent or guardian
21of the disabled child and may be made only to those public
22schools located in the district where the child attending the
23nonpublic school resides; however, nothing in this Section



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1shall be construed as prohibiting an agreement between the
2district where the child resides and another public school
3district to provide special educational services if such an
4arrangement is deemed more convenient and economical. Special
5education and related services must be provided in accordance
6with the student's IEP no later than 10 days after notice is
7provided to the parents pursuant to Section 300.503 of Title 34
8of the Code of Federal Regulations and implementing rules
9adopted by the State Board of Education. Special educational
10services shall be provided to such students as soon as possible
11after the identification, evaluation and placement procedures
12provided in Section 14-8.02, but no later than the beginning of
13the next school semester following the completion of such
14procedures. Transportation for students in part time
15attendance shall be provided only if required in the child's
16individualized educational program on the basis of the child's
17disabling condition or as the special education program
18location may require.
19    A school board shall publish a public notice in its
20newsletter of general circulation or in the newsletter of
21another governmental entity of general circulation in the
22district or if neither is available in the district, then in a
23newspaper of general circulation in the district, the right of
24all children with disabilities to a free appropriate public
25education as provided under this Code. Such notice shall
26identify the location and phone number of the office or agent



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1of the school district to whom inquiries should be directed
2regarding the identification, assessment and placement of such
4    School boards shall immediately provide upon request by any
5person written materials and other information that indicates
6the specific policies, procedures, rules and regulations
7regarding the identification, evaluation or educational
8placement of children with disabilities under Section 14-8.02
9of the School Code. Such information shall include information
10regarding all rights and entitlements of such children under
11this Code, and of the opportunity to present complaints with
12respect to any matter relating to educational placement of the
13student, or the provision of a free appropriate public
14education and to have an impartial due process hearing on the
15complaint. The notice shall inform the parents or guardian in
16the parents' or guardian's native language, unless it is
17clearly not feasible to do so, of their rights and all
18procedures available pursuant to this Act and federal Public
19Law 94-142; it shall be the responsibility of the State
20Superintendent to develop uniform notices setting forth the
21procedures available under this Act and federal Public Law
2294-142, as amended, to be used by all school boards. The notice
23shall also inform the parents or guardian of the availability
24upon request of a list of free or low-cost legal and other
25relevant services available locally to assist parents or
26guardians in exercising rights or entitlements under this Code.



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1    Any parent or guardian who is deaf, or does not normally
2communicate using spoken English, who participates in a meeting
3with a representative of a local educational agency for the
4purposes of developing an individualized educational program
5shall be entitled to the services of an interpreter.
6    No disabled student may be denied promotion, graduation or
7a general diploma on the basis of failing a minimal competency
8test when such failure can be directly related to the disabling
9condition of the student. For the purpose of this Act, "minimal
10competency testing" is defined as tests which are constructed
11to measure the acquisition of skills to or beyond a certain
12defined standard.
13    Effective July 1, 1966, high school districts are
14financially responsible for the education of pupils with
15disabilities who are residents in their districts when such
16pupils have reached age 15 but may admit children with
17disabilities into special educational facilities without
18regard to graduation from the eighth grade after such pupils
19have reached the age of 14 1/2 years. Upon a disabled pupil's
20attaining the age of 14 1/2 years, it shall be the duty of the
21elementary school district in which the pupil resides to notify
22the high school district in which the pupil resides of the
23pupil's current eligibility for special education services, of
24the pupil's current program, and of all evaluation data upon
25which the current program is based. After an examination of
26that information the high school district may accept the



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1current placement and all subsequent timelines shall be
2governed by the current individualized educational program; or
3the high school district may elect to conduct its own
4evaluation and multidisciplinary staff conference and
5formulate its own individualized educational program, in which
6case the procedures and timelines contained in Section 14-8.02
7shall apply.
8(Source: P.A. 89-397, eff. 8-20-95.)
9    (105 ILCS 5/14-8.02)  (from Ch. 122, par. 14-8.02)
10    Sec. 14-8.02. Identification, Evaluation and Placement of
12    (a) The State Board of Education shall make rules under
13which local school boards shall determine the eligibility of
14children to receive special education. Such rules shall ensure
15that a free appropriate public education be available to all
16children with disabilities as defined in Section 14-1.02. The
17State Board of Education shall require local school districts
18to administer non-discriminatory procedures or tests to
19limited English proficiency students coming from homes in which
20a language other than English is used to determine their
21eligibility to receive special education. The placement of low
22English proficiency students in special education programs and
23facilities shall be made in accordance with the test results
24reflecting the student's linguistic, cultural and special
25education needs. For purposes of determining the eligibility of



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1children the State Board of Education shall include in the
2rules definitions of "case study", "staff conference",
3"individualized educational program", and "qualified
4specialist" appropriate to each category of children with
5disabilities as defined in this Article. For purposes of
6determining the eligibility of children from homes in which a
7language other than English is used, the State Board of
8Education shall include in the rules definitions for "qualified
9bilingual specialists" and "linguistically and culturally
10appropriate individualized educational programs". For purposes
11of this Section, as well as Sections 14-8.02a, 14-8.02b, and
1214-8.02c of this Code, "parent" means a parent as defined in
13the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20
14U.S.C. 1401(23)).
15    (b) No child shall be eligible for special education
16facilities except with a carefully completed case study fully
17reviewed by professional personnel in a multidisciplinary
18staff conference and only upon the recommendation of qualified
19specialists or a qualified bilingual specialist, if available.
20At the conclusion of the multidisciplinary staff conference,
21the parent of the child shall be given a copy of the
22multidisciplinary conference summary report and
23recommendations, which includes options considered, and be
24informed of their right to obtain an independent educational
25evaluation if they disagree with the evaluation findings
26conducted or obtained by the school district. If the school



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1district's evaluation is shown to be inappropriate, the school
2district shall reimburse the parent for the cost of the
3independent evaluation. The State Board of Education shall,
4with advice from the State Advisory Council on Education of
5Children with Disabilities on the inclusion of specific
6independent educational evaluators, prepare a list of
7suggested independent educational evaluators. The State Board
8of Education shall include on the list clinical psychologists
9licensed pursuant to the Clinical Psychologist Licensing Act.
10Such psychologists shall not be paid fees in excess of the
11amount that would be received by a school psychologist for
12performing the same services. The State Board of Education
13shall supply school districts with such list and make the list
14available to parents at their request. School districts shall
15make the list available to parents at the time they are
16informed of their right to obtain an independent educational
17evaluation. However, the school district may initiate an
18impartial due process hearing under this Section within 5 days
19of any written parent request for an independent educational
20evaluation to show that its evaluation is appropriate. If the
21final decision is that the evaluation is appropriate, the
22parent still has a right to an independent educational
23evaluation, but not at public expense. An independent
24educational evaluation at public expense must be completed
25within 30 days of a parent written request unless the school
26district initiates an impartial due process hearing or the



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1parent or school district offers reasonable grounds to show
2that such 30 day time period should be extended. If the due
3process hearing decision indicates that the parent is entitled
4to an independent educational evaluation, it must be completed
5within 30 days of the decision unless the parent or the school
6district offers reasonable grounds to show that such 30 day
7period should be extended. If a parent disagrees with the
8summary report or recommendations of the multidisciplinary
9conference or the findings of any educational evaluation which
10results therefrom, the school district shall not proceed with a
11placement based upon such evaluation and the child shall remain
12in his or her regular classroom setting. No child shall be
13eligible for admission to a special class for the educable
14mentally disabled or for the trainable mentally disabled except
15with a psychological evaluation and recommendation by a school
16psychologist. Consent shall be obtained from the parent of a
17child before any evaluation is conducted. If consent is not
18given by the parent or if the parent disagrees with the
19findings of the evaluation, then the school district may
20initiate an impartial due process hearing under this Section.
21The school district may evaluate the child if that is the
22decision resulting from the impartial due process hearing and
23the decision is not appealed or if the decision is affirmed on
24appeal. The determination of eligibility shall be made and the
25IEP meeting shall be completed within 60 school days from the
26date of written parental consent. In those instances when



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1written parental consent is obtained with fewer than 60 pupil
2attendance days left in the school year, the eligibility
3determination shall be made and the IEP meeting shall be
4completed prior to the first day of the following school year.
5Special education and related services must be provided in
6accordance with the student's IEP no later than 10 days after
7notice is provided to the parents pursuant to Section 300.503
8of Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations and implementing
9rules adopted by the State Board of Education. After a child
10has been determined to be eligible for a special education
11class, such child must be placed in the appropriate program
12pursuant to the individualized educational program by or no
13later than the beginning of the next school semester. The
14appropriate program pursuant to the individualized educational
15program of students whose native tongue is a language other
16than English shall reflect the special education, cultural and
17linguistic needs. No later than September 1, 1993, the State
18Board of Education shall establish standards for the
19development, implementation and monitoring of appropriate
20bilingual special individualized educational programs. The
21State Board of Education shall further incorporate appropriate
22monitoring procedures to verify implementation of these
23standards. The district shall indicate to the parent and the
24State Board of Education the nature of the services the child
25will receive for the regular school term while waiting
26placement in the appropriate special education class.



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1    If the child is deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or visually
2impaired and he or she might be eligible to receive services
3from the Illinois School for the Deaf or the Illinois School
4for the Visually Impaired, the school district shall notify the
5parents, in writing, of the existence of these schools and the
6services they provide and shall make a reasonable effort to
7inform the parents of the existence of other, local schools
8that provide similar services and the services that these other
9schools provide. This notification shall include without
10limitation information on school services, school admissions
11criteria, and school contact information.
12    In the development of the individualized education program
13for a student who has a disability on the autism spectrum
14(which includes autistic disorder, Asperger's disorder,
15pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified,
16childhood disintegrative disorder, and Rett Syndrome, as
17defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
18Disorders, fourth edition (DSM-IV, 2000)), the IEP team shall
19consider all of the following factors:
20        (1) The verbal and nonverbal communication needs of the
21    child.
22        (2) The need to develop social interaction skills and
23    proficiencies.
24        (3) The needs resulting from the child's unusual
25    responses to sensory experiences.
26        (4) The needs resulting from resistance to



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1    environmental change or change in daily routines.
2        (5) The needs resulting from engagement in repetitive
3    activities and stereotyped movements.
4        (6) The need for any positive behavioral
5    interventions, strategies, and supports to address any
6    behavioral difficulties resulting from autism spectrum
7    disorder.
8        (7) Other needs resulting from the child's disability
9    that impact progress in the general curriculum, including
10    social and emotional development.
11Public Act 95-257 does not create any new entitlement to a
12service, program, or benefit, but must not affect any
13entitlement to a service, program, or benefit created by any
14other law.
15    If the student may be eligible to participate in the
16Home-Based Support Services Program for Mentally Disabled
17Adults authorized under the Developmental Disability and
18Mental Disability Services Act upon becoming an adult, the
19student's individualized education program shall include plans
20for (i) determining the student's eligibility for those
21home-based services, (ii) enrolling the student in the program
22of home-based services, and (iii) developing a plan for the
23student's most effective use of the home-based services after
24the student becomes an adult and no longer receives special
25educational services under this Article. The plans developed
26under this paragraph shall include specific actions to be taken



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1by specified individuals, agencies, or officials.
2    (c) In the development of the individualized education
3program for a student who is functionally blind, it shall be
4presumed that proficiency in Braille reading and writing is
5essential for the student's satisfactory educational progress.
6For purposes of this subsection, the State Board of Education
7shall determine the criteria for a student to be classified as
8functionally blind. Students who are not currently identified
9as functionally blind who are also entitled to Braille
10instruction include: (i) those whose vision loss is so severe
11that they are unable to read and write at a level comparable to
12their peers solely through the use of vision, and (ii) those
13who show evidence of progressive vision loss that may result in
14functional blindness. Each student who is functionally blind
15shall be entitled to Braille reading and writing instruction
16that is sufficient to enable the student to communicate with
17the same level of proficiency as other students of comparable
18ability. Instruction should be provided to the extent that the
19student is physically and cognitively able to use Braille.
20Braille instruction may be used in combination with other
21special education services appropriate to the student's
22educational needs. The assessment of each student who is
23functionally blind for the purpose of developing the student's
24individualized education program shall include documentation
25of the student's strengths and weaknesses in Braille skills.
26Each person assisting in the development of the individualized



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1education program for a student who is functionally blind shall
2receive information describing the benefits of Braille
3instruction. The individualized education program for each
4student who is functionally blind shall specify the appropriate
5learning medium or media based on the assessment report.
6    (d) To the maximum extent appropriate, the placement shall
7provide the child with the opportunity to be educated with
8children who are not disabled; provided that children with
9disabilities who are recommended to be placed into regular
10education classrooms are provided with supplementary services
11to assist the children with disabilities to benefit from the
12regular classroom instruction and are included on the teacher's
13regular education class register. Subject to the limitation of
14the preceding sentence, placement in special classes, separate
15schools or other removal of the disabled child from the regular
16educational environment shall occur only when the nature of the
17severity of the disability is such that education in the
18regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services
19cannot be achieved satisfactorily. The placement of limited
20English proficiency students with disabilities shall be in
21non-restrictive environments which provide for integration
22with non-disabled peers in bilingual classrooms. Annually,
23each January, school districts shall report data on students
24from non-English speaking backgrounds receiving special
25education and related services in public and private facilities
26as prescribed in Section 2-3.30. If there is a disagreement



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1between parties involved regarding the special education
2placement of any child, either in-state or out-of-state, the
3placement is subject to impartial due process procedures
4described in Article 10 of the Rules and Regulations to Govern
5the Administration and Operation of Special Education.
6    (e) No child who comes from a home in which a language
7other than English is the principal language used may be
8assigned to any class or program under this Article until he
9has been given, in the principal language used by the child and
10used in his home, tests reasonably related to his cultural
11environment. All testing and evaluation materials and
12procedures utilized for evaluation and placement shall not be
13linguistically, racially or culturally discriminatory.
14    (f) Nothing in this Article shall be construed to require
15any child to undergo any physical examination or medical
16treatment whose parents object thereto on the grounds that such
17examination or treatment conflicts with his religious beliefs.
18    (g) School boards or their designee shall provide to the
19parents of a child prior written notice of any decision (a)
20proposing to initiate or change, or (b) refusing to initiate or
21change, the identification, evaluation, or educational
22placement of the child or the provision of a free appropriate
23public education to their child, and the reasons therefor. Such
24written notification shall also inform the parent of the
25opportunity to present complaints with respect to any matter
26relating to the educational placement of the student, or the



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1provision of a free appropriate public education and to have an
2impartial due process hearing on the complaint. The notice
3shall inform the parents in the parents' native language,
4unless it is clearly not feasible to do so, of their rights and
5all procedures available pursuant to this Act and the federal
6Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of
72004 (Public Law 108-446); it shall be the responsibility of
8the State Superintendent to develop uniform notices setting
9forth the procedures available under this Act and the federal
10Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of
112004 (Public Law 108-446) to be used by all school boards. The
12notice shall also inform the parents of the availability upon
13request of a list of free or low-cost legal and other relevant
14services available locally to assist parents in initiating an
15impartial due process hearing. Any parent who is deaf, or does
16not normally communicate using spoken English, who
17participates in a meeting with a representative of a local
18educational agency for the purposes of developing an
19individualized educational program shall be entitled to the
20services of an interpreter.
21    (g-5) For purposes of this subsection (g-5), "qualified
22professional" means an individual who holds credentials to
23evaluate the child in the domain or domains for which an
24evaluation is sought or an intern working under the direct
25supervision of a qualified professional, including a master's
26or doctoral degree candidate.



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1    To ensure that a parent can participate fully and
2effectively with school personnel in the development of
3appropriate educational and related services for his or her
4child, the parent, an independent educational evaluator, or a
5qualified professional retained by or on behalf of a parent or
6child must be afforded reasonable access to educational
7facilities, personnel, classrooms, and buildings and to the
8child as provided in this subsection (g-5). The requirements of
9this subsection (g-5) apply to any public school facility,
10building, or program and to any facility, building, or program
11supported in whole or in part by public funds. Prior to
12visiting a school, school building, or school facility, the
13parent, independent educational evaluator, or qualified
14professional may be required by the school district to inform
15the building principal or supervisor in writing of the proposed
16visit, the purpose of the visit, and the approximate duration
17of the visit. The visitor and the school district shall arrange
18the visit or visits at times that are mutually agreeable.
19Visitors shall comply with school safety, security, and
20visitation policies at all times. School district visitation
21policies must not conflict with this subsection (g-5). Visitors
22shall be required to comply with the requirements of applicable
23privacy laws, including those laws protecting the
24confidentiality of education records such as the federal Family
25Educational Rights and Privacy Act and the Illinois School
26Student Records Act. The visitor shall not disrupt the



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1educational process.
2        (1) A parent must be afforded reasonable access of
3    sufficient duration and scope for the purpose of observing
4    his or her child in the child's current educational
5    placement, services, or program or for the purpose of
6    visiting an educational placement or program proposed for
7    the child.
8        (2) An independent educational evaluator or a
9    qualified professional retained by or on behalf of a parent
10    or child must be afforded reasonable access of sufficient
11    duration and scope for the purpose of conducting an
12    evaluation of the child, the child's performance, the
13    child's current educational program, placement, services,
14    or environment, or any educational program, placement,
15    services, or environment proposed for the child, including
16    interviews of educational personnel, child observations,
17    assessments, tests or assessments of the child's
18    educational program, services, or placement or of any
19    proposed educational program, services, or placement. If
20    one or more interviews of school personnel are part of the
21    evaluation, the interviews must be conducted at a mutually
22    agreed upon time, date, and place that do not interfere
23    with the school employee's school duties. The school
24    district may limit interviews to personnel having
25    information relevant to the child's current educational
26    services, program, or placement or to a proposed



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1    educational service, program, or placement.
2    (h) (Blank).
3    (i) (Blank).
4    (j) (Blank).
5    (k) (Blank).
6    (l) (Blank).
7    (m) (Blank).
8    (n) (Blank).
9    (o) (Blank).
10(Source: P.A. 95-257, eff. 1-1-08; 95-876, eff. 8-21-08;
1196-657, eff. 8-25-09.)
12    (105 ILCS 5/14-8.02a)
13    Sec. 14-8.02a. Impartial due process hearing; civil
15    (a) This Section shall apply to all impartial due process
16hearings requested on or after July 1, 2005. Impartial due
17process hearings requested before July 1, 2005 shall be
18governed by the rules described in Public Act 89-652.
19    (a-5) For purposes of this Section and Section 14-8.02b of
20this Code, days shall be computed in accordance with Section
211.11 of the Statute on Statutes.
22    (b) The State Board of Education shall establish an
23impartial due process hearing system in accordance with this
24Section and may, with the advice and approval of the Advisory
25Council on Education of Children with Disabilities, promulgate



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1rules and regulations consistent with this Section to establish
2the rules and procedures for due process hearings.
3    (c) (Blank).
4    (d) (Blank).
5    (e) (Blank).
6    (f) An impartial due process hearing shall be convened upon
7the request of a parent, student if at least 18 years of age or
8emancipated, or a school district. A school district shall make
9a request in writing to the State Board of Education and
10promptly mail a copy of the request to the parents or student
11(if at least 18 years of age or emancipated) at the parent's or
12student's last known address. A request made by the parent or
13student shall be made in writing to the superintendent of the
14school district where the student resides. The superintendent
15shall forward the request to the State Board of Education
16within 5 days after receipt of the request. The request shall
17be filed no more than 2 years following the date the person or
18school district knew or should have known of the event or
19events forming the basis for the request. The request shall, at
20a minimum, contain all of the following:
21        (1) The name of the student, the address of the
22    student's residence, and the name of the school the student
23    is attending.
24        (2) In the case of homeless children (as defined under
25    the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42
26    U.S.C. 11434a(2)), available contact information for the



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1    student and the name of the school the student is
2    attending.
3        (3) A description of the nature of the problem relating
4    to the actual or proposed placement, identification,
5    services, or evaluation of the student, including facts
6    relating to the problem.
7        (4) A proposed resolution of the problem to the extent
8    known and available to the party at the time.
9    (f-5) Within 3 days after receipt of the hearing request,
10the State Board of Education shall appoint a due process
11hearing officer using a rotating appointment system and shall
12notify the hearing officer of his or her appointment.
13    For a school district other than a school district located
14in a municipality having a population exceeding 500,000, a
15hearing officer who is a current resident of the school
16district, special education cooperative, or other public
17entity involved in the hearing shall recuse himself or herself.
18A hearing officer who is a former employee of the school
19district, special education cooperative, or other public
20entity involved in the hearing shall immediately disclose the
21former employment to the parties and shall recuse himself or
22herself, unless the parties otherwise agree in writing. A
23hearing officer having a personal or professional interest that
24may conflict with his or her objectivity in the hearing shall
25disclose the conflict to the parties and shall recuse himself
26or herself unless the parties otherwise agree in writing. For



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1purposes of this subsection an assigned hearing officer shall
2be considered to have a conflict of interest if, at any time
3prior to the issuance of his or her written decision, he or she
4knows or should know that he or she may receive remuneration
5from a party to the hearing within 3 years following the
6conclusion of the due process hearing.
7    A party to a due process hearing shall be permitted one
8substitution of hearing officer as a matter of right, in
9accordance with procedures established by the rules adopted by
10the State Board of Education under this Section. The State
11Board of Education shall randomly select and appoint another
12hearing officer within 3 days after receiving notice that the
13appointed hearing officer is ineligible to serve or upon
14receiving a proper request for substitution of hearing officer.
15If a party withdraws its request for a due process hearing
16after a hearing officer has been appointed, that hearing
17officer shall retain jurisdiction over a subsequent hearing
18that involves the same parties and is requested within one year
19from the date of withdrawal of the previous request, unless
20that hearing officer is unavailable.
21    Any party may raise facts that constitute a conflict of
22interest for the hearing officer at any time before or during
23the hearing and may move for recusal.
24    (g) Impartial due process hearings shall be conducted
25pursuant to this Section and any rules and regulations
26promulgated by the State Board of Education consistent with



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1this Section and other governing laws and regulations. The
2hearing shall address only those issues properly raised in the
3hearing request under subsection (f) of this Section or, if
4applicable, in the amended hearing request under subsection
5(g-15) of this Section. The hearing shall be closed to the
6public unless the parents request that the hearing be open to
7the public. The parents involved in the hearing shall have the
8right to have the student who is the subject of the hearing
9present. The hearing shall be held at a time and place which
10are reasonably convenient to the parties involved. Upon the
11request of a party, the hearing officer shall hold the hearing
12at a location neutral to the parties if the hearing officer
13determines that there is no cost for securing the use of the
14neutral location. Once appointed, the impartial due process
15hearing officer shall not communicate with the State Board of
16Education or its employees concerning the hearing, except that,
17where circumstances require, communications for administrative
18purposes that do not deal with substantive or procedural
19matters or issues on the merits are authorized, provided that
20the hearing officer promptly notifies all parties of the
21substance of the communication as a matter of record.
22    (g-5) Unless the school district has previously provided
23prior written notice to the parent or student (if at least 18
24years of age or emancipated) regarding the subject matter of
25the hearing request, the school district shall, within 10 days
26after receiving a hearing request initiated by a parent or



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1student (if at least 18 years of age or emancipated), provide a
2written response to the request that shall include all of the
4        (1) An explanation of why the school district proposed
5    or refused to take the action or actions described in the
6    hearing request.
7        (2) A description of other options the IEP team
8    considered and the reasons why those options were rejected.
9        (3) A description of each evaluation procedure,
10    assessment, record, report, or other evidence the school
11    district used as the basis for the proposed or refused
12    action or actions.
13        (4) A description of the factors that are or were
14    relevant to the school district's proposed or refused
15    action or actions.
16    (g-10) When the hearing request has been initiated by a
17school district, within 10 days after receiving the request,
18the parent or student (if at least 18 years of age or
19emancipated) shall provide the school district with a response
20that specifically addresses the issues raised in the school
21district's hearing request. The parent's or student's response
22shall be provided in writing, unless he or she is illiterate or
23has a disability that prevents him or her from providing a
24written response. The parent's or student's response may be
25provided in his or her native language, if other than English.
26In the event that illiteracy or another disabling condition



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1prevents the parent or student from providing a written
2response, the school district shall assist the parent or
3student in providing the written response.
4    (g-15) Within 15 days after receiving notice of the hearing
5request, the non-requesting party may challenge the
6sufficiency of the request by submitting its challenge in
7writing to the hearing officer. Within 5 days after receiving
8the challenge to the sufficiency of the request, the hearing
9officer shall issue a determination of the challenge in writing
10to the parties. In the event that the hearing officer upholds
11the challenge, the party who requested the hearing may, with
12the consent of the non-requesting party or hearing officer,
13file an amended request. Amendments are permissible for the
14purpose of raising issues beyond those in the initial hearing
15request. In addition, the party who requested the hearing may
16amend the request once as a matter of right by filing the
17amended request within 5 days after filing the initial request.
18An amended request, other than an amended request as a matter
19of right, shall be filed by the date determined by the hearing
20officer, but in no event any later than 5 days prior to the
21date of the hearing. If an amended request, other than an
22amended request as a matter of right, raises issues that were
23not part of the initial request, the applicable timeline for a
24hearing, including the timeline under subsection (g-20) of this
25Section, shall recommence.
26    (g-20) Within 15 days after receiving a request for a



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1hearing from a parent or student (if at least 18 years of age
2or emancipated) or, in the event that the school district
3requests a hearing, within 15 days after initiating the
4request, the school district shall convene a resolution meeting
5with the parent and relevant members of the IEP team who have
6specific knowledge of the facts contained in the request for
7the purpose of resolving the problem that resulted in the
8request. The resolution meeting shall include a representative
9of the school district who has decision-making authority on
10behalf of the school district. Unless the parent is accompanied
11by an attorney at the resolution meeting, the school district
12may not include an attorney representing the school district.
13    The resolution meeting may not be waived unless agreed to
14in writing by the school district and the parent or student (if
15at least 18 years of age or emancipated) or the parent or
16student (if at least 18 years of age or emancipated) and the
17school district agree in writing to utilize mediation in place
18of the resolution meeting. If either party fails to cooperate
19in the scheduling or convening of the resolution meeting, the
20hearing officer may order an extension of the timeline for
21completion of the resolution meeting or, upon the motion of a
22party and at least 7 days after ordering the non-cooperating
23party to cooperate, order the dismissal of the hearing request
24or the granting of all relief set forth in the request, as
26    In the event that the school district and the parent or



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1student (if at least 18 years of age or emancipated) agree to a
2resolution of the problem that resulted in the hearing request,
3the terms of the resolution shall be committed to writing and
4signed by the parent or student (if at least 18 years of age or
5emancipated) and the representative of the school district with
6decision-making authority. The agreement shall be legally
7binding and shall be enforceable in any State or federal court
8of competent jurisdiction. In the event that the parties
9utilize the resolution meeting process, the process shall
10continue until no later than the 30th day following the receipt
11of the hearing request by the non-requesting party (or as
12properly extended by order of the hearing officer) to resolve
13the issues underlying the request, at which time the timeline
14for completion of the impartial due process hearing shall
15commence. The State Board of Education may, by rule, establish
16additional procedures for the conduct of resolution meetings.
17    (g-25) If mutually agreed to in writing, the parties to a
18hearing request may request State-sponsored mediation as a
19substitute for the resolution process described in subsection
20(g-20) of this Section or may utilize mediation at the close of
21the resolution process if all issues underlying the hearing
22request have not been resolved through the resolution process.
23    (g-30) If mutually agreed to in writing, the parties to a
24hearing request may waive the resolution process described in
25subsection (g-20) of this Section. Upon signing a written
26agreement to waive the resolution process, the parties shall be



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1required to forward the written waiver to the hearing officer
2appointed to the case within 2 business days following the
3signing of the waiver by the parties. The timeline for the
4impartial due process hearing shall commence on the date of the
5signing of the waiver by the parties.
6    (g-35) The timeline for completing the impartial due
7process hearing, as set forth in subsection (h) of this
8Section, shall be initiated upon the occurrence of any one of
9the following events:
10        (1) The unsuccessful completion of the resolution
11    process as described in subsection (g-20) of this Section.
12        (2) The mutual agreement of the parties to waive the
13    resolution process as described in subsection (g-25) or
14    (g-30) of this Section.
15    (g-40) The hearing officer shall convene a prehearing
16conference no later than 14 days before the scheduled date for
17the due process hearing for the general purpose of aiding in
18the fair, orderly, and expeditious conduct of the hearing. The
19hearing officer shall provide the parties with written notice
20of the prehearing conference at least 7 days in advance of the
21conference. The written notice shall require the parties to
22notify the hearing officer by a date certain whether they
23intend to participate in the prehearing conference. The hearing
24officer may conduct the prehearing conference in person or by
25telephone. Each party shall at the prehearing conference (1)
26disclose whether it is represented by legal counsel or intends



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1to retain legal counsel; (2) clarify matters it believes to be
2in dispute in the case and the specific relief being sought;
3(3) disclose whether there are any additional evaluations for
4the student that it intends to introduce into the hearing
5record that have not been previously disclosed to the other
6parties; (4) disclose a list of all documents it intends to
7introduce into the hearing record, including the date and a
8brief description of each document; and (5) disclose the names
9of all witnesses it intends to call to testify at the hearing.
10The hearing officer shall specify the order of presentation to
11be used at the hearing. If the prehearing conference is held by
12telephone, the parties shall transmit the information required
13in this paragraph in such a manner that it is available to all
14parties at the time of the prehearing conference. The State
15Board of Education may, by rule, establish additional
16procedures for the conduct of prehearing conferences.
17    (g-45) The impartial due process hearing officer shall not
18initiate or participate in any ex parte communications with the
19parties, except to arrange the date, time, and location of the
20prehearing conference, due process hearing, or other status
21conferences convened at the discretion of the hearing officer
22and to receive confirmation of whether a party intends to
23participate in the prehearing conference.
24    (g-50) The parties shall disclose and provide to each other
25any evidence which they intend to submit into the hearing
26record no later than 5 days before the hearing. Any party to a



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1hearing has the right to prohibit the introduction of any
2evidence at the hearing that has not been disclosed to that
3party at least 5 days before the hearing. The party requesting
4a hearing shall not be permitted at the hearing to raise issues
5that were not raised in the party's initial or amended request,
6unless otherwise permitted in this Section.
7    (g-55) All reasonable efforts must be made by the parties
8to present their respective cases at the hearing within a
9cumulative period of 7 days. When scheduling hearing dates, the
10hearing officer shall schedule the final day of the hearing no
11more than 30 calendar days after the first day of the hearing
12unless good cause is shown. This subsection (g-55) shall not be
13applied in a manner that (i) denies any party to the hearing a
14fair and reasonable allocation of time and opportunity to
15present its case in its entirety or (ii) deprives any party to
16the hearing of the safeguards accorded under the federal
17Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of
182004 (Public Law 108-446), regulations promulgated under the
19Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of
202004, or any other applicable law. The school district shall
21present evidence that the special education needs of the child
22have been appropriately identified and that the special
23education program and related services proposed to meet the
24needs of the child are adequate, appropriate, and available.
25Any party to the hearing shall have the right to (1) be
26represented by counsel and be accompanied and advised by



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1individuals with special knowledge or training with respect to
2the problems of children with disabilities, at the party's own
3expense; (2) present evidence and confront and cross-examine
4witnesses; (3) move for the exclusion of witnesses from the
5hearing until they are called to testify, provided, however,
6that this provision may not be invoked to exclude the
7individual designated by a party to assist that party or its
8representative in the presentation of the case; (4) obtain a
9written or electronic verbatim record of the proceedings within
1030 days of receipt of a written request from the parents by the
11school district; and (5) obtain a written decision, including
12findings of fact and conclusions of law, within 10 days after
13the conclusion of the hearing. If at issue, the school district
14shall present evidence that it has properly identified and
15evaluated the nature and severity of the student's suspected or
16identified disability and that, if the student has been or
17should have been determined eligible for special education and
18related services, that it is providing or has offered a free
19appropriate public education to the student in the least
20restrictive environment, consistent with procedural safeguards
21and in accordance with an individualized educational program.
22At any time prior to the conclusion of the hearing, the
23impartial due process hearing officer shall have the authority
24to require additional information and order independent
25evaluations for the student at the expense of the school
26district. The State Board of Education and the school district



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1shall share equally the costs of providing a written or
2electronic verbatim record of the proceedings. Any party may
3request that the due process hearing officer issue a subpoena
4to compel the testimony of witnesses or the production of
5documents relevant to the resolution of the hearing. Whenever a
6person refuses to comply with any subpoena issued under this
7Section, the circuit court of the county in which that hearing
8is pending, on application of the impartial hearing officer or
9the party requesting the issuance of the subpoena, may compel
10compliance through the contempt powers of the court in the same
11manner as if the requirements of a subpoena issued by the court
12had been disobeyed.
13    (h) The impartial hearing officer shall issue a written
14decision, including findings of fact and conclusions of law,
15within 10 days after the conclusion of the hearing and send by
16certified mail a copy of the decision to the parents or student
17(if the student requests the hearing), the school district, the
18director of special education, legal representatives of the
19parties, and the State Board of Education. Unless the hearing
20officer has granted specific extensions of time at the request
21of a party, a final decision, including the clarification of a
22decision requested under this subsection, shall be reached and
23mailed to the parties named above not later than 45 days after
24the initiation of the timeline for conducting the hearing, as
25described in subsection (g-35) of this Section. The decision
26shall specify the educational and related services that shall



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1be provided to the student in accordance with the student's
2needs and the timeline for which the school district shall
3submit evidence to the State Board of Education to demonstrate
4compliance with the hearing officer's decision in the event
5that the decision orders the school district to undertake
6corrective action. The hearing officer shall retain
7jurisdiction for the sole purpose of considering a request for
8clarification of the final decision submitted in writing by a
9party to the impartial hearing officer within 5 days after
10receipt of the decision. A copy of the request for
11clarification shall specify the portions of the decision for
12which clarification is sought and shall be mailed to all
13parties of record and to the State Board of Education. The
14request shall operate to stay implementation of those portions
15of the decision for which clarification is sought, pending
16action on the request by the hearing officer, unless the
17parties otherwise agree. The hearing officer shall issue a
18clarification of the specified portion of the decision or issue
19a partial or full denial of the request in writing within 10
20days of receipt of the request and mail copies to all parties
21to whom the decision was mailed. This subsection does not
22permit a party to request, or authorize a hearing officer to
23entertain, reconsideration of the decision itself. The statute
24of limitations for seeking review of the decision shall be
25tolled from the date the request is submitted until the date
26the hearing officer acts upon the request. The hearing



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1officer's decision shall be binding upon the school district
2and the parents unless a civil action is commenced.
3    (h-5) The State Board of Education shall adopt State
4complaint procedures, consistent with Sections 300.151,
5300.152, and 300.153 of Title 34 of the Code of Federal
6Regulations, that allow a parent, individual, organization, or
7advocate to file a signed, written complaint with the State
8Board of Education alleging that a school district, cooperative
9service unit, or this State has violated the rights of one or
10more children with disabilities. The State Board of Education,
11by rule, shall establish State complaint procedures consistent
12with this Section. The school district or other public entity
13shall be required to submit a written response to the complaint
14within 10 days following receipt of the complaint. A copy of
15the response and all other documentation submitted by the
16respondent to the State Board of Education during the course of
17the State complaint process must be simultaneously sent by the
18respondent to the complainant or to the attorney for the
19complainant if the complaint was filed by an attorney
20representing a complainant. If the complaint was filed by an
21individual other than a parent of a child who is the subject of
22the complaint (or the child if the child has reached majority
23or is emancipated and has assumed responsibility for his or her
24own educational decisions) and the complaint is about a
25specific identifiable child or children, then appropriate
26written signed releases must be obtained prior to the release



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1of any documentation or information to the complainant or the
2attorney representing the complainant. State complaint
3procedures may be used to allege non-compliance by a school
4district or other public entity with a decision of a due
5process hearing officer.
6    (i) Any party to an impartial due process hearing aggrieved
7by the final written decision of the impartial due process
8hearing officer shall have the right to commence a civil action
9with respect to the issues presented in the impartial due
10process hearing. That civil action shall be brought in any
11court of competent jurisdiction within 120 days after a copy of
12the decision of the impartial due process hearing officer is
13mailed to the party as provided in subsection (h). The civil
14action authorized by this subsection shall not be exclusive of
15any rights or causes of action otherwise available. The
16commencement of a civil action under this subsection shall
17operate as a supersedeas. In any action brought under this
18subsection the Court shall receive the records of the impartial
19due process hearing, shall hear additional evidence at the
20request of a party, and, basing its decision on the
21preponderance of the evidence, shall grant such relief as the
22court determines is appropriate. In any instance where a school
23district willfully disregards applicable regulations or
24statutes regarding a child covered by this Article, and which
25disregard has been detrimental to the child, the school
26district shall be liable for any reasonable attorney's fees



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1incurred by the parent in connection with proceedings under
2this Section.
3    (j) During the pendency of any administrative or judicial
4proceeding conducted pursuant to this Section, including
5mediation (if the school district or other public entity agrees
6to participate in mediation) or the filing of a State complaint
7with the State Board of Education, unless the school district
8and the parents or student (if at least 18 years of age or
9emancipated) otherwise agree, the student shall remain in his
10or her present educational placement and continue in his or her
11present eligibility status and special education and related
12services, if any. If mediation or a State complaint fails to
13resolve the dispute between the parties, the parent (or student
14if 18 years of age or older or emancipated) shall have 10 days
15after the mediation concludes or after the written
16determination on the State complaint is issued by the State
17Board of Education to file a request for a due process hearing
18in order to continue to invoke the "stay-put" provisions of
19this subsection (j). If the hearing officer orders a change in
20the eligibility status, educational placement, or special
21education and related services of the student, that change
22shall not be implemented until 30 days have elapsed following
23the date the hearing officer's decision is mailed to the
24parties in order to allow any party aggrieved by the decision
25to commence a civil action to stay implementation of the
26decision. If applying for initial admission to the school



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1district, the student shall, with the consent of the parents
2(if the student is not at least 18 years of age or
3emancipated), be placed in the school district program until
4all such proceedings have been completed. The costs for any
5special education and related services or placement incurred
6following 60 school days after the initial request for
7evaluation shall be borne by the school district if the
8services or placement is in accordance with the final
9determination as to the special education and related services
10or placement that must be provided to the child, provided that
11during that 60 day period there have been no delays caused by
12the child's parent.
13    (k) Whenever the parents of a child of the type described
14in Section 14-1.02 are not known, are unavailable, or the child
15is a ward of the State, a person shall be assigned to serve as
16surrogate parent for the child in matters relating to the
17identification, evaluation, and educational placement of the
18child and the provision of a free appropriate public education
19to the child. Persons shall be assigned as surrogate parents by
20the State Superintendent of Education. The State Board of
21Education shall promulgate rules and regulations establishing
22qualifications of those persons and their responsibilities and
23the procedures to be followed in making assignments of persons
24as surrogate parents. Surrogate parents shall not be employees
25of the school district, an agency created by joint agreement
26under Section 10-22.31, an agency involved in the education or



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1care of the student, or the State Board of Education. Services
2of any person assigned as surrogate parent shall terminate if
3the parent becomes available unless otherwise requested by the
4parents . The assignment of a person as surrogate parent at no
5time supersedes, terminates, or suspends the parents' legal
6authority relative to the child. Any person participating in
7good faith as surrogate parent on behalf of the child before
8school officials or a hearing officer shall have immunity from
9civil or criminal liability that otherwise might result by
10reason of that participation, except in cases of willful and
11wanton misconduct.
12    (l) At all stages of the hearing the hearing officer shall
13require that interpreters be made available by the school
14district for persons who are deaf or for persons whose normally
15spoken language is other than English.
16    (m) If any provision of this Section or its application to
17any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity of
18that provision or application does not affect other provisions
19or applications of the Section that can be given effect without
20the invalid application or provision, and to this end the
21provisions of this Section are severable, unless otherwise
22provided by this Section.
23(Source: P.A. 94-1100, eff. 2-2-07.)
24    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
25becoming law.