Special Education Hearing Officer
Child’s Name: E. A.
Date of Birth: [redacted]
ODR File No. 16947-15-16 KE
Parties to the Hearing:
Local Education Agency Philadelphia City School District Office of General Counsel Philadelphia, PA 19130
Parent Attorney None
Heather Matejik, Esquire Brian Subers, Esquire Fox Rothschild LLP
10 Sentry Parkway
Suite 200, PO Box 3001 Blue Bell, PA 19422
Date Record Closed: January 6, 2016
Date of Hearing: December 14, 2015
Date of Decision: January 10, 2016
Hearing Officer: Cathy A. Skidmore, M.Ed., J.D.
INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The student (hereafter Student)1 is a kindergarten-age student in the School District of Philadelphia (hereafter District) who is eligible for special education pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).2 Student’s guardian (hereafter Parent) filed a due process complaint against the District asserting that it denied Student a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) under the IDEA in failing to provide specific special education services.
The case proceeded to a due process hearing convening over a single session, at which the parties presented evidence in support of their respective positions. The Parent sought to establish that the District failed to provide Student with learning support as well as transportation and speech/language therapy, thereby denying Student FAPE. The District maintained that the special education program that was implemented was appropriate for Student and did not deny FAPE, and further sought an order permitting it to conduct a speech/language evaluation of Student.
For the reasons set forth below, I find in favor of the Parent on her claims, and will order an independent speech/language evaluation.
- Whether the District failed to provide Student with the appropriate learning support, transportation, and speech/language therapy services; and
- Whether the District should be permitted to conduct a speech/language evaluation.