Special Education Law: What is KOSHK and Why is it Important?

June 15th, 2016

Special-Education-Law-What-is-KOSHK-and-Why-is-it-ImportantAn important fact in a special education due process proceeding is the “KOSHK” date, or the date that the parent “knew or should have known” about an alleged deprivation of special education. A “deprivation of special education” just mean that the parents are claiming that a child should have been provided with special education but was not.

The KOSHK date is important in special education law because it drives the two-year statute of limitations set forth in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IDEA is a federal law that requires schools to serve the educational needs of eligible students with disabilities.

A parent must file a due process complaint under special education law no more than two years after the parent “knew or should have known” about the alleged deprivation.

The KOSHK date was examined by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in a case called G.L. v. Ligonier Valley School District Authority.

In GL, the Third Circuit held that a student whose rights were violated is entitled to compensatory education for the entire “period of deprivation,” so long as the complaint is timely filed. However, if the complaint is not timely filed, “… all but the most recent two years before the filing of the complaint will be time-barred[.]” Thus, determination of the KOSHK date may operate to limit a school district’s liability.

As a result, the KOSHK date is a threshold issue that should be determined prior to a due process hearing in a special education law matter. It assists the hearing officer to determine the scope of claims and can also operate to limit a school district’s or other local educational agency’s (LEA liability if the parent failed to timely present her claims.