Special Education Case Loads Task Force

Hearing Officer Requirements

Recommendation 14: To be decided at the 2/11/14 meeting. The task force recommends repealing Minn. R. 3525.4010 in its entirety and moving one section of the rule, Subp. 3, Evaluation, which deals with collecting data about the hearing system, to Minnesota Statutes § 125A.091. This language should be added as a new stand-alone section following Subd. 13, labeled Subd. 13(a).

Rationale: Different requirements for hearing officer qualifications are set out in state statute and rule. In addition, 34 C.F.R. 300.511(c)(1), also sets forth impartial hearing officer requirements. The multiple standards for hearing officer requirements are confusing to the field. Feedback from the field supports repealing Minn. R. 3525.4010 in its entirety and moving the language in Subpart 3 into Minnesota Statutes § 125A.091, thereby eliminating the existence of state standards for hearing officers in both statute and rule. Overall, the task force recommends using the statutory language for hearing officer requirements. The task force recommends the following specific changes to this rule:

• Minnesota Rule 3525.4010, Subp. 1(A) and (B), Criteria for selection, and Subp. 2, Standards of Conduct, should be repealed. Subparts 1(A) and (B) require that hearing officers “have at least five years of experience practicing law and hold a current license to practice law in the state of Minnesota” and have “litigation experience and an understanding of administrative law,” respectively. Subpart 2 requires hearing officers to follow the “Professionalism Aspirations for Judges, Referees, and Administrative Law Judges to Lawyers and Parties, as promulgated by the Minnesota Supreme Court, January 2001.” The taskforce sought feedback from the legal and education community about repealing these subparts. The feedback received supported repealing these subparts because these requirements are not necessary and the requirements for hearing officers set out in Minnesota Statutes § 125A.091, Subd. 13 are sufficient.
• Minnesota Rule 3525.4010, Subp. 3, requires the department to maintain data on the hearing system. This subpart should be repealed from the rule and added to Minnesota Statutes § 125A.091, as a new stand-alone subdivision, Subd. 13(a), titled ‘Hearing System Data.’

Rule: Minn. R. 3525.4010, Subp. 1-3

Statute: Minn. Stat. § 125A.091, Subd. 13, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Due Process Hearings: Hearing Officer Qualifications

Student Discipline

Recommendation 26

To be decided at the 2/11/14 task force meeting. The task force recommends amending Minnesota Statutes § 121A.582, Subd. 1(c), which sets forth specific student discipline statutes that prohibit certain conduct and cannot be trumped by the reasonable force standard. Specifically, the task force recommends amending Minnesota Statutes § 121A.582 by adding a reference to Minnesota Statutes § 121A.0942, Standards for Restrictive Procedures. Minnesota Statutes § 121A.582, Subd. 1(c) currently references other statutes related to Corporal Punishment, Minnesota Statutes § 121A.58 and Aversive and Deprivation Procedures, Minnesota Statutes § 121A.67, but it does not reference the existing statute governing Standards for Restrictive Procedures, Minnesota Statutes § 125A.0942. A reference to Minnesota Statutes § 125A.0942 should be added to ensure conduct prohibited under this statute is affirmatively prohibited similar to the other student discipline statutes listed.

Rationale: In 2000, Minnesota Statutes § 121A.582, Subd. 1(c) was created. This section specifically states that paragraphs (a) and (b) of Minnesota Statutes § 121A.582 “do not authorize conduct prohibited under sections § 121A.58 (Corporal Punishment) and § 121A.67 (Aversive and Deprivation Procedures).” (Parentheticals added). Minnesota Statutes § 121A.582, Subd. 1(c) does not reference Minnesota Statutes § 125A.0942, Standards for Restrictive Procedures, which was created in 2009 and went into effect in 2011. A reference to Minnesota Statutes § 125A.0942 should be added to ensure conduct prohibited under this statute is affirmatively prohibited. The Restrictive Procedures task force may put forth recommendations about this statute.

Rule: No rule corollary

Statute: Minn. Stat. § 121A.581, Subd. 1(c), Student Discipline: Reasonable Force