(b) Within 10 calendar days after the filing of any written request of a teacher to be heard as provided in subsection (a), the board shall notify the commissioner of education that a list of qualified hearing officers is required. Such notice shall contain the mailing address of the teacher. Within 10 days after receipt of notification from the board, the commissioner shall provide to the board and to the teacher, a list of five randomly selected, qualified hearing officers.
(c) Within five days after receiving the list from the commissioner, each party shall eliminate two names from the list, and the remaining individual on the list shall serve as hearing officer. In the process of elimination, each party shall eliminate no more than one name at a time, the parties alternating after each name has been eliminated. The first name to be eliminated shall be chosen by the teacher within five days after the teacher receives the list. The process of elimination shall be completed within five days thereafter.
(d) Either party may request that one new list be provided within five days after receiving the list. If such a request is made, the party making the request shall notify the commissioner and the other party, and the commissioner shall generate a new list and distribute it to the parties in the same manner as the original list.
(e) In lieu of using the process provided in subsections (b) and (c), if the parties agree, they may make a request to the American Arbitration Association for an arbitrator to serve as the hearing officer. Any party desiring to use this alternative procedure shall so notify the other party in the notice required under subsection (a). If the parties agree to use this procedure, the parties shall make a joint request to the American Arbitration Association for a hearing officer within 10 days after the teacher files a request for a hearing. If the parties choose to use this procedure, the parties shall each pay one-half of the cost of the arbitrator and of the arbitrator's expenses.
(f) The commissioner of education shall compile and maintain a list of hearing officers comprised of residents of this state who are attorneys at law. Such list shall include a statement of the qualifications of each hearing officer.
(g) Attorneys interested in serving as hearing officers under the provisions of this act shall submit an application to the commissioner of education. The commissioner shall determine if the applicant is eligible to serve as a hearing officer pursuant to the provisions of subsection (h).
(h) An attorney shall be eligible for appointment to the list if the attorney has: (1) Completed a minimum of 10 hours of continuing legal education credit in the area of education law, due process, administrative law or employment law within the past five years; or (2) previously served as the chairperson of a due process hearing committee prior to the effective date of this act. An attorney shall not be eligible for appointment to the list if the attorney has been employed to represent a board or a teacher in a due process hearing within the past five years.
History: L. 1974, ch. 301, § 3; L. 1975, ch. 373, § 3; L. 1976, ch. 315, § 3; L. 1986, ch. 271, § 1; L. 1991, ch. 224, § 1; L. 1992, ch. 185, § 2; L. 2003, ch. 52, § 1; July 1.