DB vs. Fairview School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: D.B.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Dates of Hearing:

September 8, 2014 November 10, 2014 November 13, 2014

CLOSED HEARING

ODR Case # 14868-1314KE

Parties to the Hearing:

Parent[s]

Fairview School District 7460 McCray Road Fairview, PA 16413

Representative:

Charles Steele, Esquire
428 Forbes Avenue / Suite 700 Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Thomas Lent, Esquire
717 State Street / Suite 701 Erie, PA 16501

Date Record Closed: December 8, 2014

Date of Decision: December 19, 2014

Hearing Officer: Jake McElligott, Esquire

 

INTRODUCTION

[Student] (hereinafter “student”)1 is an [elementary school-aged] student who resides in the Fairview School District (“District”). The parties do not dispute that the student qualifies as a student with a disability under the terms of the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Improvement Act of 2004 (“IDEIA”) and Pennsylvania special education regulations (“Chapter 14”) as a student with a health impairment and speech/language needs.2 However, the parties dispute the appropriateness of the District’s programming for the student over the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 school years. Parents claim that the student was denied a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”) and seek compensatory education as a remedy, as well an independent educational evaluation of the student.

The District counters that, at all times, it met its obligations to the student under IDEIA/Chapter 14. Consequently, the District claims that no remedy is owed.

For the reasons set forth below, I find that the District provided a FAPE to the student in the 2012-2013 school year. In the 2013-2014, I find that the District failed in its obligations to the student for a brief period of time. Even though the District failed in its obligations, however, the intersection of the chronologies of the District’s knowledge/imputed knowledge and its actions as those chronologies surface in the mandates of IDEIA, Chapter 14, and precedential case law does not support an award of compensatory education. Finally, I find that the District’s evaluation processes and reports were appropriate and, as such, the District will not be ordered to provide an independent educational evaluation.

ISSUES

Did the District provide FAPE to the student under its IDEIA obligations for the 2012-2013 and/or 2013-2014 school year(s)?

If so,
is compensatory education owed to the student?

Should the District be ordered to provide an independent educational evaluation?

D-B-Fairview-ODRNo-14868-1314KE

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