CM vs. Pittsburgh School District

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.

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: C.M.

Date of Birth: [redacted]
Dates of Hearing: 8/25/2015, 8/26/2015, 10/9/2015

CLOSED HEARING

ODR File No. 16476-14-15 KE

Parties to the Hearing:

Parents Parent[s]

Local Education Agency Pittsburgh School District 341 South Bellefield Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Representative:

Parent Attorney
Arthur D. Feldman, Esquire 1010 LaClair Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15218

LEA Attorney
Rebecca Heaton Hall, Esquire Weiss Burkardt Kramer, LLC
445 Fort Pitt Boulevard, Suite 503 Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Date Record Closed: November 4, 2015

Date of Decision: November 30, 2015

Hearing Officer:
Cathy A. Skidmore , M.Ed., J.D.

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The student (Student)1 is a mid-teenaged student in the Pittsburgh Public School District (District) who is eligible for special education pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).2 Student’s Parents filed a due process complaint against the District asserting that it denied Student a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) under the IDEA and the federal and state regulations implementing that statute.

The case proceeded to a due process hearing convening over three sessions, at which the parties presented evidence in support of their respective positions.3 The Parents sought to establish that the District failed to propose an appropriate program for Student for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years, including extended school year (ESY) programming over the summer of 2015, and sought tuition reimbursement for the private placement Student has been attending. The District maintained that its special education program, as offered, was appropriate for Student and that no remedy is therefore warranted.

For the reasons set forth below, I find in favor of the Parents.

ISSUES

  1. Whether the program proposed by the District for the 2014- 15 school year was appropriate;
  2. If it was not appropriate, are the Parents and Student entitled to tuition reimbursement for the private placement Student attended for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years and for ESY services in 2015?

 

C-M-Pittsburgh-ODRNo-16476-14-15-KE

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