Special education; due process hearings, nonattorney representatives. (HB1381)

Introduced By

Del. Jay Leftwich (R-Chesapeake) with support from co-patron Del. Schuyler VanValkenburg (D-Henrico)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law

Description

Special education; due process hearings; nonattorney representatives. Permits a school division and the parents of a child with a disability in the school division to be accompanied and advised by any nonattorney with special knowledge or training with respect to the needs of children with disabilities in any due process hearing before a hearing officer. The bill declares that it constitutes the practice of law without being authorized or licensed to do so as prohibited by law when any such nonattorney drafts or submits pleadings, motions, or briefs; presents evidence; makes any argument, including any argument relating to any law or regulation; or questions witnesses on behalf of any parent or student. The bill requires the Board of Education to adopt regulations to establish (i) licensure requirements, including minimum training and qualification requirements, (ii) a code of professional conduct, and (iii) a mechanism for the review and resolution of complaints for such nonattorneys. Current law permits the school division and the parents of a child with a disability to be represented by any individual, regardless of special knowledge or training, in any due process hearing before a hearing officer and declares that such representation does not constitute the practice of law without being authorized or licensed to do so. Read the Bill »

Outcome

Bill Has Failed

History

DateAction
01/08/2020Committee
01/08/2020Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/20 20102357D
01/08/2020Referred to Committee on Education
01/13/2020Assigned Education sub: Pre-K-12
01/20/2020Referred from Education
01/20/2020Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/23/2020Impact statement from DPB (HB1381)
01/30/2020Assigned Courts sub: Civil
02/03/2020Subcommittee recommends continuing to 2021
02/05/2020Continued to 2021 in Courts of Justice

Comments

Janine Gillis writes:

So...if I’m reading this correctly, anyone assisting and trying to help families navigate the special education needs process now needs to be a special education subject matter expert AND a licensed Virginia attorney. Hmmm...looks like help for struggling families just became even less affordable.

Robin Mays writes:

Please do not make it any harder on the parents and children of VA! I share my knowledge with parents and school personnel during IEP meetings all the time. I've spent literally 18 years educating myself about IDEA law. I have certificates and CEUs to go with my Bachelor's of Science and Master's of Science degrees in Education and Psychology.
Why does the burden fall on parents for everything? We are the people who need support, not one more thing taken away from us while are children are under-educated.
Please stop the madness!

Sheila Weir writes:

This bill was interferes with individual acc as to justice. And will have constitutional ramifications. Litigation will continue to escalate as the sole purpose of the bill is to block minorities and protectected classes of rights already settled in law. These ar but a few reasons why I this bill is plain wrong.

Sheila Weir writes:

CORRECTED: This bill interferes with individual access to justice. The bill will have constitutional ramifications. Litigation will continue to escalate as the sole purpose of this bill is to block minorities and protectected classes of rights already settled in law and the process due to those rights. These are but a few reasons why this bill is plain wrong.

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