Thesis (Ph.D., Curriculum & Instruction)--University of Idaho, June 2014 | This study used an explanatory mixed methods design to examine special education due process outcomes in Idaho for the time period of January 1, 2004 to June 30, 2012.
The study was done in two phases. Phase one of the study explored what types of special education related issues are being brought before the state hearing officer(s) as due process complaints in Idaho (as measured by the DSF). Phase two of this study explored common themes in the findings/outcomes of the due process decisions between lawyers perspective and the DSF, and the lawyers perspective what implications do these have for the future of special education services in Idaho. The guiding hypothesis is that the there is a correlation between the DSF themes and lawyers perceptions.
From the two research questions there were five themes that emerged. In question one three themes emerged. The three themes were (1) the disability areas brought before hearing officers are Specific Learning Disability, Severe Multiple Disability, Other Health Impairment and Autism; (2) highest area of complaint was Evaluation and Eligibility; and (3) outcome of decisions was predominantly dismissal. In question two, two themes emerged. The two themes were (1) there was an increase of due process decisions after the newest release of the State of Idaho Special Education Manual in 2007; and (2) majority of decision were brought by the student and/or their families.