Special Education Hearing Officer
Child’s Name: B.W.
Date of Birth: [redacted]
Dates of Hearing: Decided on Motion to Dismiss
ODR File No. 17632-15-16
Parties to the Hearing:
Local Education Agency
Pennsylvania Department of Education 333 Market Street, 9th Floor Harrisburg, PA 17101
Vanita Kalra Esq.
8 Penn Center
1628 JFK Boulevard, Suite 1000 Philadelphia, PA 19103 215-564-1030
Atty. M. Patricia Fullerton Esq. Office of General Counsel, Commonwealth of PA
333 Market Street, 9th Floor Harrisburg, PA 17101 717-787-5500
Date Record Closed: June 20, 2016
Date of Decision: July 2, 2016
Hearing Officer: Charles W, Jelley Esq. LL.M.
Applicable Legal Principles
Types of Charter Schools
In Pennsylvania, schools that operate under a charter are divided into three general categories—charter schools, regional charter schools, and cyber charter schools. Charter schools are independent public schools established and operated under a charter from the local school board. Charter schools are commonly referred to as “bricks-and-mortar” charter schools. A cyber charter school is an independent public school established and operated under a charter from PDE. Cyber charter schools use electronic media to educate children without the daily requirement that students regularly attend a physical “bricks-and-mortar” school. To comply with the IDEA, charter schools and cyber charter schools must be organized as a public, nonprofit corporation.5 A charter may not be granted to a for-profit entity. http://www.education.pa.gov/K- 12/Charter%20Schools/Page
Charter School Responsibilities
Charter schools and cyber charter schools must comply with Pennsylvania and federal regular education, special education, federal civil rights and disability laws. Chapter 711 et. seq. of the Pennsylvania School Code, “Charter School and Cyber Charter School Services and Program for Children with Disabilities,” contains regulations specific to individuals with disabilities being educated in charter schools and cyber charter schools. Chapter 711 incorporates by reference all of the IDEA regulations and the applicable
4 Eastern District Court of Pennsylvania Local Bankruptcy Rules 7003 and 7005. https://www.paed.uscourts.gov/documents/locrules/bankruptcy/bkrules.pdf
Due Process Hearings
In Pennsylvania, special education due process hearings are heard against the LEA through the ODR, as authorized by the 22 Pa Code §14.162(p). Hearings conducted by ODR meet the IDEA standards of impartiality regardless of the agency status. 20 U.S.C. §§1415(f); 34 C.F.R. §§300.511-300.515; 22 Pa Code §14.162.B-W-Cyber-Charter-ODRNo-17632-15-16