CR vs. Montgomery County Intermediate Unit

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: C.R.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Dates of Hearing: February 25, 2016 April 28, 2016 May 3, 2016 May 11, 2016 June 28, 2016 June 29, 2016 July 18, 2016 August 4, 2016 August 5, 2016

CLOSED HEARING

ODR Case #17158-1516AS

Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]

Montgomery County Intermediate Unit 1605 West Main Street
Norristown, PA 19403

Representative:

Tanya Alvarado, Esquire 30 Cassatt Avenue Berwyn, PA 19312

Heather Matejik, Esquire
10 Sentry Parkway – Suite 200 P.O. Box 3001
Blue Bell, PA 19422

Date of Decision: October 11, 2016

Hearing Officer: Michael J. McElligott, Esquire

INTRODUCTION

The child1 is a preschool/kindergarten age child residing within the boundaries of the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit (“IU”). The parties agree that the child qualifies under the terms of the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Improvement Act of 2004 (“IDEIA”)2 for specially designed instruction/related services as a child with a health impairment. The child also has a hearing impairment, although the IU has not formally identified the child with hearing impairment under the IDEIA.

Parents claim, in their complaint, that the IU’s proposed early intervention services were inappropriate for the 2014-2015 and 2015- 2016 school years and did not offer the child a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”) for those school years. As a result, parents claim, they undertook a unilateral private placement and seek tuition reimbursement remedy for that enrollment in the 2014-2015 and 2015- 2016 school years.3 Additionally, parents claim that the IU has violated its obligations to provide FAPE to the child under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (“Section 504”).4

The IU counters that at all times it proposed educational programming reasonably calculated to provide FAPE to the child. As such, the IU argues that the parents are not entitled to a tuition reimbursement remedy.

A significant aspect of the dispute between the parties, and (as a surmise of this hearing officer) perhaps an impediment to potential resolution, is disagreement between the parties over the amount of tuition reimbursement due to parents.

For the reasons set forth below, I find in favor of the parents in part and the IU in part. Given the dispute over the material amount of reimbursement due to parents, the decision and order will address with specificity the amount of the tuition reimbursement.

ISSUES

Is the IU’s proposed programming
for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 school years reasonably calculated to yield meaningful education benefit?

If not, are parents entitled to tuition reimbursement for the unilateral private placement
for the school years 2014-2015 and 2015-2016?

If so, in what amount?

C-R-Montgomery-County-ODRNo-17158-1516AS

Leave a Reply

Pennsylvania

Montgomery Law, LLC
1420 Locust Street, Suite 420
Philadelphia, PA 19102
T/F. 215-650-7563

Rate By
SUPER LAWYERS
Joseph W Montgomery, II

New Jersey

Historic Smithville, Suite 1
1 N. New York Road
Galloway, NJ 08205
(all mail to Phila. office)
T. 856-282-5550

Disclaimer: Montgomery Law, LLC does not give legal advice until after it has entered into an attorney-client relationship. No part of this website creates an attorney-client relationship. All Parts of this website are Attorney Advertising. The photos and videos on this website contain portrayals of clients by non-clients, re-enactment of scenes, pictures and persons which are not actual or authentic and depictions which are a dramatization.