Small DOHA Seal Special Education  

     Department of Defense schools operate under the direction of the
Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) pursuant to Title 32 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 346. Within DoDEA are found the DoD Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS) and DoD Dependents Schools (DoDDS). DDESS schools operate in the United States, one school in Puerto Rico, and one in Guam, while DoDDS schools operate in several foreign countries. Schools under DDESS were formerly known as Section 6 Schools because they were originally authorized by section 6 of Public Law 81-874, title 20 United States Code, section 241(a).

     Special education is provided within all DoDEA schools pursuant to Department of Defense Instruction 1342.12 (April 11, 2005) published at Title 32 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 57, which implements title 20 United States Code, sections 921-932 including section 927(c), governing DoDDS and title 10 United States Code, section 2164(f) governing DDESS. See also DODD 1342.20, DoDI 1342.26, DoDD 1342.13. Early intervention services for eligible developmentally delayed children under the age of three are provided by a Military Medical Department also pursuant to that authority.

     The Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA), administers the due process provisions of DoDI 1342.12 (April 11, 2005). [See also] Administrative Judges of DOHA, acting as hearing officers, are responsible to ensure the provision of impartial due process hearings pursuant to title 20 United States Code, section 1415(f) and (g), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) as amended on June 4, 1997, by Public Law 105-17 and again amended by Congress in 2004, effective July 1, 2005. Impartial due process hearings may be requested by the parents of the child, or by the school principal or designated agent on behalf of a DoDEA school, or by the commander of the cognizant military treatment facility or designated agent, on behalf of the Military Medical Department. Any request for due process is filed, in accordance with the DoDI 1342.12., with the Director, DOHA, and must comply with the requirements of DoDI 1342.12. DOHA Department Counsel normally appear in such hearings to assist counsel from DoDEA or the Military Department. The hearing officer issues a final decision from which an administrative appeal may be taken to the DOHA Appeal Board. A notice of appeal must be filed in a timely fashion with the Director, DOHA, and must comply with the requirements of the IDEA and DoDI 1342.12.

     Mediation is an often effective alternative to due process hearings that all parties are encouraged to consider. In addition, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 2004 sets forth specific requirements for a Resolution Meeting to be held between the parents and the school system. This meeting is intended to provide an additional opportunity to resolve disputes without the necessity of proceeding to a due process hearing.

This page was last updated on:
October 22, 2007