(1) The Board of Public Education shall select one of the following methods for providing a hearing:
(a) a hearing before the board at a special or regular meeting of the board;
(b) a hearing before a committee of the board that shall report to the board proposed findings of fact, proposed conclusions of law, and a proposed order; or
(c) a hearing before a hearing examiner appointed by the board who shall report to the board proposed findings of fact, proposed conclusions of law, and a proposed order.
(2) At the time and place set in the notice to the applicant or licensee, the chairperson of the Board of Public Education, the designated committee, or an appointed hearing examiner shall conduct the hearing in accordance with Title 2, chapter 4, part 6, MCA, and ARM 1.3.211 through 1.3.224 of the Attorney General's model rules for hearing contested cases.
(3) Prior to the hearing, the boardʹs attorney or designated hearing officer shall schedule a pre-hearing conference to consider:
(a) simplification of the issues;
(b) the possibility of obtaining admissions of facts and documents;
(c) the number of witnesses;
(d) the exchanges of witness and exhibit lists; and
(e) any other matters which may aid in the disposition of the matter.
(4) On appeal the burden is on the appellant to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the appellant meets the statutory criteria for issuance of an educator/specialist license. In the case of a request for disciplinary action against a licensee pursuant to ARM 10.57.601 or 10.57.611, the burden is on the requestor to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the disciplinary action is warranted.