* Regulations by Section and Attachment 1 (Analysis of Comments and Changes)
(a) The Hearing Official or Panel prepares an initial written decision that addresses each of the points in the notice sent by the Secretary to the SEA under §300.581.
(b) The initial decision of a Panel is made by a majority of Panel members.
(c) The Hearing Official or Panel mails by certified mail with return receipt requested a copy of the initial decision to each party (or to the party's counsel) and to the Secretary, with a notice stating that each party has an opportunity to submit written comments regarding the decision to the Secretary.
(d) Each party may file comments and recommendations on the initial decision with the Hearing Official or Panel within 15 days of the date the party receives the Panel's decision.
(e) The Hearing Official or Panel sends a copy of a party's initial comments and recommendations to the other parties by certified mail with return receipt requested. Each party may file responsive comments and recommendations with the Hearing Official or Panel within seven days of the date the party receives the initial comments and recommendations.
(f) The Hearing Official or Panel forwards the parties' initial and responsive comments on the initial decision to the Secretary who reviews the initial decision and issues a final decision.
(g) The initial decision of the Hearing Official or Panel becomes the final decision of the Secretary unless, within 25 days after the end of the time for receipt of written comments, the Secretary informs the Hearing Official or Panel and the parties to a hearing in writing that the decision is being further reviewed for possible modification.
(h) The Secretary may reject or modify the initial decision of the Hearing Official or Panel if the Secretary finds that it is clearly erroneous.
(i) The Secretary conducts the review based on the initial decision, the written record, the Hearing Official's or Panel's proceedings, and written comments. The Secretary may remand the matter for further proceedings.
(j) The Secretary issues the final decision within 30 days after notifying the Hearing Official or Panel that the initial decision is being further reviewed.
(Authority: 20 U.S.C. (1412(d)(2))
of Comments, Discussions and Changes from Attachment
Comment: One commenter objected that the procedures in proposed §§300.580-300.589 are overly detailed and bureaucratic. This commenter also stated that these procedures incorporate language from the old regulations concerning disapproval of State plans, which is no longer relevant in light of changes in the statute. Another commenter noted that proposed §300.583 mentioned disapproval of State plans and requested that it be revised to refer to denial of eligibility.
Discussion: The Department does not agree that the procedures in §§300.580-300.589 are overly detailed. When the Secretary proposes to deny a State's eligibility, withhold funds or take other enforcement action and when a State has requested a waiver of supplement not supplant or maintenance of effort requirements, it is important to all parties that the process through which those issues will be decided is clearly described, so that time, money and effort are not spent resolving procedural questions instead of the underlying issues. The commenter is correct that proposed §§300.580-300.586 are substantially the same as old regulations that addressed disapproval of a State plan, and that State plans are no longer required by the statute. When necessary, however, these same procedures were designated in the past by the Secretary as the procedures to follow on a proposed denial of State eligibility, a concept that remains in the law.
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These Final Regulations were taken from the Federal Register. They were formatted by Education Development Center, Inc. for the IDEA Practices Web site, a service of the OSEP-funded ASPIIRE and ILIAD IDEA Partnership Projects at The Council for Exceptional Children. The material was transferred to the discover IDEA CD 2002 by the Western Regional Resource Center. Every attempt has been made to faithfully reproduce the original content of the Regulations.