DB vs. Chambersburg Area School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: D.B.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Dates of Hearing:
April 4, April 25, May 5, May 17 2011

CLOSED HEARING

ODR Case # 01786-10-11-JS

Parties to the Hearing:

Parent[s]

Chambersburg Area School District 435 Stanley Avenue Chambersburg, PA 17201

Representative:

Phil Drumheiser, Esq. P.O. Box 890
2202 Circle Road Carlisle, PA 17013

John Comegno, Esq.
521 Pleasant Valley Avenue Moorestown, NJ 08057

Date Record Closed: June 7, 2011

Date of Decision: June 21, 2011

Hearing Officer: Jake McElligott, Esquire

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

[Student] (“student”) is a [teenaged] student residing in the Chambersburg Area School District (“District”). The parties dispute whether the student is a student with a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Improvement Act of 2004 (“IDEA”) and Pennsylvania special education regulations (“Chapter 14”).1 Additionally, the parents dispute whether the student is a student with a disability under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (specifically under Section 504 of that statute, hence the follow-on reference to this section as “Section 504”).2

Parents seek compensatory education as a result of these alleged deprivations. The District counters that at all times it has provided a FAPE to the student and met its obligations under IDEA, Chapter 14, and Section 504.

Finally, the parties disputed the scope of parents’ claim for compensatory education. Evidence in the first hearing session was devoted to the scope of the parents’ claims pursuant to 34 C.F.R. §§300.507 and 300.511(f). As a result of the evidence presented, the District was found not to have misrepresented or withheld information regarding the student’s special education program. Therefore, the scope of the hearing, and any potential recovery, were limited to a period after November 10, 2008 (two years prior to the date parents’ complaint was filed).

For the reasons set forth below, I find in favor of the parents on some issues and the District on other issues.

ISSUES

Is the student a student with a disability under the terms of IDEA/Chapter 14 and/or Section 504?

If so, has the student been denied a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”) by the District under the terms of IDEA/Chapter 14 and/or Section 504?

Has the student, on the basis of handicap, been excluded from participation in, been denied the benefits of, or otherwise been subjected to, discrimination on the part of the District under the terms of Section 504?

If the answer to either or both of questions #2 and/or #3 is in the affirmative, is compensatory education owed to the student?

D-B-Chambersburg-Area-ODRNo-01786-10-11-JS

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