Ariz. Admin. Code § R7-2-801 - Compliance
A. Procedures governing noncompliance with laws and rules by school districts.
1. Scope. Except as may be otherwise directed by federal or state statute or by rules adopted by the State Board of Education, this rule shall govern the procedure for determining noncompliance by school districts with laws and rules concerning school districts, the enforcement of which is the statutory responsibility of the State Board of Education or the Department of Education.
2. Preliminary notice of noncompliance and response:
a. The Department of Education, upon its own initiative or at the direction of the State Board of Education, shall inform school districts by written notice that the district is in possible noncompliance with laws or rules, the enforcement of which is the statutory responsibility of the Board or the Department.
b. A preliminary notice of possible noncompliance shall detail in writing the nature of the possible noncompliance and shall identify:
i. The law or rule which the school district may be violating; and
ii. The manner in which the school district may be in noncompliance with the identified law or rule.
c. A school district may submit a written response to the Department of Education within 20 days of receipt of a preliminary notice of noncompliance.
d. Nothing contained in this rule is intended to preclude a reasonable attempt between Department of Education personnel and school district personnel to resolve administratively possible noncompliance prior to sending a written preliminary notice of noncompliance.
3. Scheduling a formal hearing
a. Recommendation by the Department of Education
i. After giving a school district preliminary notice as provided in this rule, the Department of Education shall submit a written recommendation to the State Board of Education. This recommendation shall be submitted within 10 days after receipt of a written response from the school district or if no response is received within 30 days of the issuance of the preliminary notice. The Department shall recommend one of the following courses of action to be taken by the Board.
(1) A formal hearing should be scheduled before noncompliance is probable and achieving voluntary compliance within a reasonable period of time under the circumstances is unlikely; or
(2) A formal hearing should not be scheduled at this time because, although noncompliance is probable, achieving voluntary compliance within a reasonable period of time is likely; or
(3) A formal hearing should not be scheduled because the school district is in compliance with the law or rule in question.
ii. Any written response of the school district to the preliminary notice of noncompliance shall accompany the written recommendation of the Department of Education.
b. Within 30 days of receipt of the recommendation of the Department of Education, the State Board of Education shall either:
i. Schedule formal hearing;
ii. Postpone the decision to schedule a hearing for a stated time period not to exceed six months, or
iii. Dismiss the matter.
c. When the State Board of Education determines that a formal hearing is necessary, it shall be scheduled within 30 days after such determination, unless an extension of time is granted by the Board.
d. When a formal hearing is scheduled, the Board or its designee shall give notice of the hearing as provided in A.R.S. § 41-1009(A) and (B).
e. When the Board decides to postpone scheduling a formal hearing, the Board shall specify the extent of the postponement and the Department of Education shall report periodically, at least every 30 days, unless otherwise directed, with respect to progress by the school district toward compliance with the law or rule in question. At the end of the postponement period, the Board shall again make a determination whether to schedule a hearing, further postpone the determination, or dismiss the matter.
f. The Board may order further investigation by the Department of Education at any time, and admit into evidence any such report at any subsequent formal hearing.
4. Hearings held pursuant to this rule shall be conducted as provided in A.R.S. § 41-1010.
5. The Board's decision
a. A decision by the State Board of Education shall be determined by a majority of the members of the Board and shall be based upon substantial evidence.
b. A decision shall be rendered within 30 days after the hearing.
c. Within 30 days after a decision is reached, copies of the written decision shall be delivered to the parties personally or by certified mail.
d. The parties shall have the opportunity to provide proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law to the Board no later than five days after the decision of the Board is received.
6. Rehearing procedure
a. Any party aggrieved by a decision rendered by the Board may file with the Board, not later than 15 days after service of the decision, a written motion for rehearing or review of the decision, specifying the particular grounds therefor.
b. A motion to alter or amend a decision or order shall be filed not later than 15 days after service of the decision.
c. A motion for rehearing under this rule may be amended at any time before it is ruled upon by the Board.
d. A response may be filed within 10 days after service of such motion by any other party or by the Attorney General.
e. The Board may require the filing of written memoranda upon the issues raised in the motion and may provide for oral argument.
f. The Board may consolidate the hearing to consider the motion for rehearing with the requested rehearing.
g. A rehearing or review of the decision may be granted for any of the following causes materially affecting the moving party's rights:
i. Irregularity in the administrative proceedings of the agency or its hearing officer or the prevailing party, or any order, or abuse of discretion, whereby the moving party was deprived of a fair hearing;
ii. Misconduct of the Board of the prevailing party.
iii. Accident or surprise which could not have been prevented by ordinary prudence;
iv. Newly discovered material evidence which could not with reasonable diligence have been discovered and produced at the original hearing;
v. Excessive or insufficient penalty;
vi. Error in the admission or rejection of evidence or other errors of law occurring in the administrative hearing;
vii. The decision is not justified by the evidence or is contrary to law.
h. The Board may affirm or modify the decision or grant a rehearing to all or any of the parties and on all or part of the issues for any of the reasons set forth in subsection (7). An order granting a rehearing shall specify with particularity the ground or grounds on which the rehearing is granted, and the rehearing shall cover only those matters so specified.
i. Not later than 15 days after a decision is rendered, the Board may on its own initiative order a rehearing or a review of its decision for any reason for which it might have granted a rehearing on motion of a party. After giving the parties or their counsel notice and an opportunity to be heard on the matter, the Board may grant a motion for rehearing for a reason not stated in the motion. In either case, the order granting such a rehearing shall specify the grounds on which the order is based.
j. When a motion for rehearing is based upon affidavits, they shall be served with the motion. An opposing party may, within 10 days after such service, serve opposing affidavits, which period may be extended for an additional period not exceeding 20 days, by the Board for good cause shown, or by the parties by written stipulation. The Board may permit a reply affidavit by the moving party.
B. Waiver from administrative rules. Upon request of a school district acting either on its own behalf or on behalf of a school within the district's jurisdiction, the State Board of Education may grant a waiver exempting such district or school from specific administrative rules.
a. Requests for exemption from any State Board of Education rule shall include:
i. Evidence that the school or school district is currently in compliance with all state laws and State Board of Education rules;
ii. A statement identifying goals that will be accomplished and how the waiver will assist in enhancing school improvement;
iii. A three-year plan for school improvement;
iv. Identification of the specific rules for which the waiver is requested;
v. Evidence of a public hearing held by the school or school district which provided for parental and public involvement and input into the proposed three-year plan.
b. Requests for waiver may be granted by the State Board of Education for a period not to exceed three years. The State Board of Education may at any time rescind approved waivers at its discretion.
c. Requests for waiver may be submitted by a local governing board and shall be made through the State Superintendent of Public Instruction for consideration by the State Board of Education.
d. Local governing boards shall adopt policies and procedures which will allow their schools to request waivers from the State Board of Education and shall submit those policies and procedures to the Superintendent of Public Instruction prior to October 1, 1993. Those policies shall be consistent with the criteria specified in subsections (B)(1)(a) and (B)(3). Additionally, those policies shall provide that:
i. Requests for such waivers by schools be forwarded within 30 days of receipt by the governing board to the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Requests may include additional information as the governing board deems appropriate.
ii. Schools not be required to meet criteria other than those specified in subsection (B)(1)(a).
a. Schools or school districts with State Board-approved waivers shall document progress obtained as a result of the waiver and report on or before June 30 of each year to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
b. A school district having a school with an approved waiver may report the effects that such waiver has had on the operation of the school district. Reports shall be submitted on or before June 30 of each year to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
c. The State Superintendent of Public Instruction shall report to the State Board of Education, on or before September 30 of each year, the status of those schools and school districts with approved waivers and, as a minimum, include the following:
i. The status of meeting the goals as stated in the three-year plan;
ii. Recommendations regarding approved continuance of the waiver, conditions for continuance of the waiver, revision of the three-year plan or rescission of the waiver.
3. Renewal. Upon request from a school district, on behalf of itself or a school within its jurisdiction, waivers may be approved by the State Board of Education for additional three-year periods. Requests shall be made through the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and requests from schools shall be forwarded by the local governing board to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction within 30 days from receipt.
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