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Professional Development for Impartial Hearing Officers

Contract for Services to New York Agencies for
Services to Benefit Students With Disabilities

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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New York State Education Department (NYSED) - Office of Special Education

Deadline Date:

02/26/21 3:00 PM Eastern Time - Receipt


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Contract for services to a New York agency for services to benefit students with disabilities. Contractors will provide training and distance learning programs and review cases relevant to the students. Specifically, contractors will be required to provide six hours of instructor-led, classroom-based or virtual trainings via a Zoom or an equivalent virtual platform professional development programs; and six hours of web-based or other distance learning programs.

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) Office of Special Education is seeking proposals to

  1. Develop and deliver professional development programs for Impartial Hearing Officers (IHOs) who conduct impartial hearings for students with disabilities as required by section 615 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), section 4404 of New York State (NYS) Education Law and sections 200.1 and 200.5 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education; and
  2. Conduct investigations of complaints alleging the misconduct or challenging the competence of an IHO pursuant to section 200.21 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.

Eligible bidders must provide technical assistance on dispute resolution in special education. 

Impartial Hearings: An impartial hearing is an administrative due process proceeding under federal and State law and regulation at which disagreements between parents and local educational agencies (LEAs) are decided by an impartial hearing officer (IHO) within specific timelines. Parents or an LEA may initiate a hearing on issues related to the identification, evaluation, educational placement or provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to a student with a disability.

Training Requirements for IHOs in New York State

In order to become certified as an IHO in NYS, candidates must participate in an initial five-day training program that could be conducted in person or virtually and complete written assignments at an acceptable standard. All currently certified IHOs are required to attend periodic update training, which NYSED has determined to be a total of 12 hours of instruction per year as follows.

The Regulations of the Commissioner of Education require that these professional development programs provide information regarding federal and State laws and regulations relating to the education of students with disabilities and the needs of such students. The professional development must include but not limited to the procedural aspects of conducting a hearing and provide experience in reaching and writing a decision in accordance with standard legal practice. 

Deliverables and/or Project Description can be found at

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 194414

Number of Grants:

NYSED will award 1 contract pursuant to this RFP.

Term of Contract:

The contract that results from this RFP will be for a term anticipated to begin June 1, 2021 and to end May 31, 2026.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Agencies must submit evidence that they have experience in managing projects of similar size and scope;

Mandatory Requirements:
The eligible bidder must agree to the Mandatory Requirements found below and must submit the Mandatory Requirements Certification Form signed by an authorized person. Bids that do not comply with the Mandatory Requirements and include this form will be disqualified.
1. One Project Director, not to exceed one .5 full time equivalent (FTE), must have a J.D. degree. The Project Director position must be filled by one individual.
2. Any individual serving as a Project Director and/or in the role as the complaint investigator must have at least a two-year separation if they have served as an IHO in NYS.
3. An individual who has been suspended from certification as an IHO or who has had his/her certification revoked on the grounds of incompetence or misconduct may not participate in this contract in any role.
4. The individual(s) assigned to conduct investigations of IHOs must hold the following qualifications:
- Is an individual admitted to the practice of law who is in good standing;
- Is not an officer, employee or agent of a public or private New York State school serving individuals with disabilities or of a school district or school board;
- Is not employed by a disability advocacy organization that provides technical assistance, legal support or legal representation or legislative advocacy to individuals with disabilities or their families;
- Does not have a personal or professional interest which would conflict with his or her objectivity in the complaint investigation;
- Shall not have participated in any manner in the impartial hearing(s) that are the subject of the IHO complaint; and
- Possess knowledge of IDEA and the due process proceedings related to standard legal practice, and familiarity with judicial/legal misconduct and incompetence, including the New York Code of Professional Responsibility and the New York State Manual for Administrative Law Judges and Hearing Officers

Pre-Application Information:

The required documents must be received at NYSED no later than February 26, 2021 by 3:00 PM Eastern Time.

Questions regarding the request must be submitted by email no later than the close of business January 29, 2021. Questions regarding this request should be identified as Program, Fiscal or M/WBE. A Questions and Answers Summary will be posted here no later than February 12, 2021.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

The email address for all the documentation is

Questions regarding the request must be submitted by email to

The following are the designated contacts for this procurement:
Program Matters: Sharon Veltman
Fiscal Matters: Jessica Hartjen
M/WBE Matters: Brian Hackett

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New York City;   New York

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