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Appeals and Mediation

The New Hampshire State Department of Education and the New Hampshire State Board of Education offers a variety of alternative dispute resolution options to assist parties in resolving disagreements at the local level. These options include mediation and third party discussion led by moderator as well as, for special education matters, neutral conferences. In those instances where alternative dispute resolution does not result in an agreement or if parties cannot come to an agreement to enter into alternative dispute resolution, the Department and State Board offer several appeal pathways: special education impartial due process hearings; vocational rehabilitation fair hearings; and, state board of education hearings. Please see the different categories listed below for more information on each of the pathways.

Special Education

The Department's special education due process hearing is the final administrative remedy for disputes between parents and school districts. Decisions of a hearing officer in special education due process hearings shall be appealed directly to a court of competent jurisdiction. Prior to requesting a due process hearing, if the parties agree, the department will provide either mediation or a neutral conference as an alternative for resolving the dispute.

Transportation

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation does not provide transportation for any New Hampshire students. However, parents who believe that their local school district has failed to provide transportation as required by law may report the dispute to the Department.

Vocational Rehabilitation or Bureau of Disability Determination

Hearings shall be conducted by the office of legislation and hearings in accordance with Ed 1004.05. The written request for a hearing shall be made within 30 days after the division notifies the individual of its determination or completion of an alternative dispute resolution procedure.

The written request to the division required to initiate the hearing process shall include:

  • The full name and address of the individual; and
  • A description of why the individual is not satisfied with the determination or with the outcome of the mediation procedure, as applicable.
  • Users' Guide to Administrative Process

When providing a written request for a hearing is a burden to the individual because of the individual's disability, the division shall accept a request in the appropriate mode of communication that is consistent with the informed choice of, and used by, the individual in order to promote the fair, accurate, and efficient resolution of issues.

Educator Discipline

To report physical abuse or any other crime, please contact your local police department.

All reports of misconduct by educators should be made directly to either:

Richard Farrell, Investigator
(603) 271-8372 (office)
(603) 231-0521 (cell)
richard.farrell@doe.nh.gov

Diana Fenton, Attorney
(603) 271-3189 (office)
diana.fenton@doe.nh.gov

Educators and Parents appealing State Board of Education Hearings

A party aggrieved by a decision at the local level may appeal to the state board for review, in accordance with Ed 200, provided that such appeal is filed within 30 days of receipt of the written decision of the local board or 7 days after any alternative dispute resolution that did not produce an agreement with parties. Each appeal shall be in writing and shall be addressed to the office of legislation and hearings.

Each appeal shall state the following

  • The name, address and telephone number of the person making the appeal;
  • How the person has been adversely affected by the decision.
  • Any other information the person deems relevant to a speedy resolution of the matter including but not limited to the law, rule or local policy which was the basis for the decision which the person is challenging.

The party filing the appeal shall enclose a copy of the final local board decision. The following documents may be useful in preparing an appeal. The Department of Education cannot provide legal advice to any party.

To file a complaint:

For FERPA violations:
File a Complaint | Protecting Student Privacy

For Discrimination Complaints to the USDOE Office for Civil Rights:
How to File a Discrimination Complaint with the Office for Civil Rights

Stephen W.F. Berwick
Coordinator, Dispute Resolution and Constituent Complaint
Office of Legislation and Hearings
101 Pleasant Street, Concord, NH 03301.
(603) 271-2299
Stephen.Berwick@doe.nh.gov

Special Education Hearing Officer Decisions Archive