SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER
DUE PROCESS HEARING
Name of Child: A.A.
ODR #14846 / 13-14-AS
Date of Birth: [redacted]
Dates of Hearing: August 26, 2014 September 11, 2014
Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]
Harambee Institute Charter School 640 N. 66th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19151
Daniel Cooper, Esquire
Law Offices of Kenneth S. Cooper 45 East City Avenue #400
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
Lewis Small, Esquire Mitchell Berman, Esquire 1835 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Date Record Closed: September 26, 2014
Date of Decision: September 28, 2014
Hearing Officer: Linda M. Valentini, Psy.D., CHO Certified Hearing Official
Student1 is an elementary school aged student who has been attending Harambee Charter School [hereinafter the School] since January 2013. Student has just completed second grade there. Student’s mother requested this hearing, alleging that the School committed a procedural and substantive violation of Student’s rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act [IDEA] by not providing an evaluation in a timely manner subsequent to parent’s request, by disciplining Student inappropriately given that Student should have been evaluated and found eligible, and once Student was found eligible for special education, by not providing an appropriate special education program. Student’s mother seeks compensatory education for these alleged violations and requests that the compensatory education be designated to be used as private school tuition.
The procedural history of this matter is as follows: The Parent filed her complaint on March 31, 2014 and a hearing date was set within the statutory requirements. Subsequently, just prior to the hearing date the parties informed the hearing officer that the matter had been settled and requested a 60-day conditional dismissal order which was issued on May 10, 2014. Counsel later informed the hearing officer that the anticipated agreement was not able to be finalized and reinstatement was requested. The hearing was rescheduled and held as put forth below.
- Did the School commit a procedural violation of its Childfind obligations resulting in a substantive violation of Student’s rights to FAPE under the IDEA by failing to evaluate Student in a timely fashion subsequent to parent’s request for an evaluation?
- During the period of time prior to its finding of eligibility did the School discipline Student inappropriately given that the evaluation ultimately found Student eligible for special education?
- Once Student was found eligible for special education, did the School fail to provide Student with a free appropriate public education [FAPE] through failure to implement the IEP?
- If the School committed procedural violations of Student’s rights under the IDEA and thus deprived Student of FAPE is Student eligible for compensatory education services and if so in what form and in what amount?