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October 27, 2005

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Richard E. Zabelski

1) What are the length of hearing officer appointments?
2) What is the implication of stating "the training process is not always very transparent".
3) What is the percentage of Hearing Officers that are parents of children with disabilities?
4) What is the chance (as a parent) of being selected?
5) Does politics play a significant part of the appointment process?
6) Maybe your comments and suggestions to the ISBE should include a set aside for more parent involvement and hearing officer appointment!

Charles Fox

Robert:
To answer your questions:

1) IHOs are contracted for a period of one year which is generally renewed except for some good cause.
2) I personally believe there is room for more transparency to give an appearance of greater fairness, or at least a summary of topics covered and frequency of training. On the reverse side, if training materials were readily distributed, then parties could fashion briefs to hit on the points in the training materials. "As you well know from the training materials..."
3) Unknown.
4) A well qualified parent would have a good chance of being selected, especially if an attorney as most are now attorneys.
5) I do not believe that politics plays a role in appointments.
6) There are advisory bodies that have a role in IHO selection. I certainly think that there is more room for including parent persepctive in selection and future training.

Charles

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