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.G.
Date of Birth: [redacted]
Dates of Hearing:
May 25, 2011
June 14, 2011
June 30, 2011
ODR Case # 1552-10-11-AS
Parties to the Hearing:
Council Rock School District 30 North Chancellor Street Newtown, PA 18940
Catherine Nguyen, Esq. 60 East Court Street Doylestown, PA 18901
Date Record Closed: June 30, 2011
Date of Decision: July 18, 2011
Hearing Officer: Jake McElligott, Esquire
INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Student is a pre-teen-aged student residing in the Council Rock School District (“District”) who is a student with a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Improvement Act of 2004 (“IDEIA”)1. The parties do not dispute that the student qualifies under the IDEIA.
The parties, however, have highly divergent views of what the student’s educational needs are. Parent believes that the student is low- average cognitive ability but has learning difficulties that require attention in a cognitive strengthening environment. The District believes that the student has moderate cognitive impairment that requires a placement in a life skills program.
The parent has requested tuition reimbursement of a privately funded education placement due to an alleged failure by the District to propose an education program reasonably calculated to provide a free appropriate public education (”FAPE”). Particularly, parent claims that reimbursement is owed for an alleged failure by the District to propose a program to provide FAPE in the 2010-2011 school year. The District maintains that the programming proposed for the student 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 District.
Was the educational program proposed by the District for the 2010-2011 school year appropriate?
If this proposed program was not appropriate, is parent entitled to tuition reimbursement for the unilateral private placement undertaken for the 2010-2011 school year?