For fiscal year 2020 (covering the period July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020), there were 172,3791 Massachusetts students on IEPs. The Bureau of Special Education Appeals ("BSEA") received 9,442 rejected IEPs (school districts are required to notify the BSEA when they receive a rejected IEP). There were 379 due process hearing requests, resulting in 19 decisions. This means that only 5% of hearing requests go all the way to a full hearing with a decision. Of those 19 cases that went all the way to hearing:
Parents prevailed in only 3 (16%)
School districts prevailed in 10 (53%),
There was "mixed relief" in 4 (21%).
There was also 1 case out of the 19 (5%) that involved a dispute between the LEA and DESE.
"Mixed relief," referenced above, means that neither side fully prevailed, but each side partially prevailed. Click on the following link to see an example of a case decision with mixed relief which I litigated several years ago. In this case, involving the Oxford Public Schools, the parent succeeded in proving that the student did not receive FAPE, and that the Oxford school district was required to provide compensatory services, but failed to prove a claim of retaliation.
What is the lesson here for parents? Proceed with caution when it comes to litigation. As an attorney, I judge my success not by the number of cases litigated, but by the number of positive outcomes achieved for parents, preferably without the cost and stress of litigation.