School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Kurt Y Michael


Disabilities, Due Process, IDEA, LEA, Outcome, Special Education


Accessibility | Disability and Equity in Education | Early Childhood Education | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Education Economics | Other Education


Special education-related lawsuits are a concern to school systems. They are time-consuming, expensive, and contentious. School and parental relationships become strained when litigation is involved. This study analyzed data from the Virginia Department of Education’s due process database over a 12-year period of time to note common disabilities involved in special education litigation. Specific characteristics from each case were noted to determine if there was a trend in the frequency of due process cases: the sex, grade, age, disability, and outcome. The data was obtained from the Virginia Department of Education’s Office of Dispute Resolution and Administrative Services. The purpose of this descriptive content analysis study was to see if the total frequency of types of disability due process cases and outcomes were the same over the last 12 years in the state of Virginia among K-12 public school students. The types of disabilities examined came from the 13 categories of special education as defined by IDEA. The categories were autism, deaf-blindness, deafness, emotional disturbance, hearing impairment, intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury, and visual impairment, including blindness. The data collected was in the form of frequency counts that were analyzed using a frequency tables and trend charts. Results showed that parents were less likely to win their due process case than the local education agencies.