Parents who prevail in Due Process hearings may recover their reasonable attorneys' fees.
The “Attorney Fee Recovery” provision of the IDEA allows parents to recover their reasonable attorney fees from the school district or charter school if the parents prevail at due process. The purpose of this provision is to provide parents with access to skilled legal representation. The provision only applies to attorneys. (If parents use an advocate (non-attorney), the advocate’s fees are not recoverable under the law, even if parents win.)
There is now a bill pending in Congress,the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) Fairness Restoration Act, S. 613 and H.R. 1208, that aims to add recovery of fees for experts. "Experts" are the witnesses that parents use at hearing to testify about the issues, whether identification, evaluation, placement, appropriateness of services and supports, appropriateness of placement, etc. These include the psychologists, BCBAs, speech and language pathologists, OTs, PTs, transition experts, etc.
You can read the proposed legislation on-line at:
Senate bill (S.613) http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d112:s.613
House bill (H.R. 1208) http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d112:h.r.1208:
Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch supports the proposed legislation, and we ask all parents, clients and friends to support it too.