This is a redacted version of the original decision. Select details have been removed from the decision to preserve anonymity of the student. The redactions do not affect the substance of the document.
Special Education Hearing Officer
Child’s Name: C.E.
Date of Birth: [redacted]
Dates of Hearing:
August 24, 2011
August 25, 2011
August 26, 2011
ODR Case # 1835-10-11-AS
Parties to the Hearing:
Pennsbury School District 134 Yardley Avenue Fallsington, PA 19052
David G.C. Arnold, Esq.
920 Matsonford Road
West Conshohocken, PA 19428
Claudia Huot, Esq.
Blue Bell Executive Campus 460 Norristown Road
Blue Bell, PA 19422-2323
Date Record Closed: September 12, 2011
Date of Decision: September 27, 2011
Hearing Officer: Jake McElligott, Esquire
INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Student is [an elementary school-age] student residing in the Pennsbury School District (“District”) who is a student with a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Improvement Act of 2004 (“IDEA”)1. Specifically, the student is identified with specific learning disabilities and a speech/language impairment. The parents have requested compensatory education and tuition reimbursement of a privately funded education placement due to an alleged failure by the District to provide a free appropriate public education (”FAPE”). Particularly, parents claim compensatory education from May 18, 2009 through the commencement of the 2009-2010 school year and tuition reimbursement for the 2009-2010, 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 school years.2 The District maintains that, when the student attended the District, it provided the student with FAPE and that the last-offered programming was reasonably calculated to yield meaningful education benefit and, as such, was designed to provide FAPE to the student.
For the reasons set forth below, I find in favor of the parents although the award will be in an amount less than 100%.
Was the student denied a FAPE from May 19, 2009 through the commencement of the 2009- 2010 school year?
If so, is compensatory education owed as a result?
Was the last-offered educational program proposed by the District in June 2009 appropriate?
If not, are parents entitled to tuition reimbursement for the unilateral private placement undertaken for the 2009-2010, 2010- 2011, and 2011-2012 school years?