It shall be the policy of the Rhinebeck Central School District to select, appoint and compensate impartial hearing officers in the following manner:
Selection and Appointment
The District shall utilize the most recent rotational list of impartial hearing officers established by the State Education Department. Additional qualified impartial hearing officers requesting to serve in the District shall have their names inserted into such rotational list in alphabetical order.
Within two (2) business days after the District receives a written request for an impartial hearing, the District Clerk shall initiate attempts to contact that hearing officer whose name next follows the last hearing officer appointed by the Board of Education from the rotational list.
The District Clerk shall first attempt contact by telephone call. If unsuccessful at reaching the hearing officer, the District Clerk shall leave a message (if voice mail is available) and send a letter by overnight mail, informing the hearing officer that:
a. A hearing has been requested concerning a student (identify the student only by number) and the same of the school district;
b. The hearing officer’s name is the next one on the rotational list; and
c. The hearing officer must contact the District Clerk (leave telephone number) no later than 24 hours from the date the telephone message is left and/or the date of the correspondence.
If the hearing officer declines appointment, or fails to respond within 24 hours after being telephoned or sent a letter by overnight mail, the District Clerk will, according to the procedures outlined above, offer the appointment to each successive hearing officer whose name appears on the rotational list, until it is accepted.
No appointment may be accepted unless the hearing officer is available to initiate the hearing within 14 days after being contacted by the District Clerk.
Once an appointment is accepted, the hearing officer shall be formally appointed by resolution adopted by the Board of Education; or letter signed by the President or Vice President of the Board of Education.
The President and/or Vice President of the Board of Education are hereby delegated with the authority to immediately appoint impartial hearing officers who are selected in accordance with these procedures.
The District Clerk shall maintain a log detailing any actions taken pursuant to this policy relating to the appointment of impartial hearing officers.
Compensation will be made at the hourly rates currently approved by the State Education Department pursuant to §4404(1) of the Education Law.
The District will not reimburse impartial hearing officers for administrative assistance, secretarial or other overhead expenses.
The District will, upon review and approval of properly submitted receipts, reimburse impartial hearing officers for automobile travel at the I.R.S. approval rate and for tolls reasonably and necessarily incurred as a result of the hearing.
In addition to hearing time itself, the Board will reimburse, at the hourly rate, for time actually expended by the impartial hearing officer for:
1. Scheduling the hearing;
2. Pre-hearing conference calls (if necessary);
3. Scheduling letters;
4. Preparing the Decision, including any Interim Decisions.
Absent extraordinary circumstances, as determined in advance by the District, Impartial hearing officers will not be reimbursed for any other expenses associated with their appointment and service as impartial hearing officers.
A hearing cancellation fee of $500.00 shall be paid by the District where five business days notice is not provided to the impartial hearing officer. The District will not be responsible for any compensation in connection with hearing cancellations where five or more business days notice is provided to the impartial hearing officer.
A copy of this policy will be forwarded to the impartial hearing officer at the time of appointment.