Document Type

Honors Project

Abstract

In the United States, 6.8 million children receive special education services, and disputes over their education can become highly adversarial. This thesis examines due process hearings, which are the last resort for parents in special education conflicts, and evaluates the fairness of those hearings. Using interviews with judges and data from hearings between 2000-2009 in Wisconsin and Minnesota, I find that special education due process hearings are unfair because they inconsistently provide procedural protections, damage parent-school relationships, and provide insufficient outcomes for students. I conclude that a new system should replace special education due process hearings in the future.

 
 

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