Pennsylvania Special Education Hearing Officer
Date of Birth:
ODR Case #18674-1617AS
Dates of Hearing:1
March 22, 2017 – May 11, 2017
Angela Uliana-Murphy, Esquire – 106 N. Franklin Street – P.O. Box 97 – Pen Argyl, PA – 18072
Counsel for Parent
Jim Thorpe Area School District – 410 Center Avenue – Jim Thorpe, PA – 18229
Timothy Gilsbach, Esquire – One West Broad Street – Suite 700 – Bethlehem, PA 18018
Counsel for the School District
Date of Decision:
June 27, 2017
Michael J. McElligott, Esquire
Student (“student”)2 is [a preteen-aged] student who resides in the Jim Thorpe Area School District (“District”). The parties agree that the student qualifies under the terms of the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Improvement Act of 2004 (“IDEIA”)3 as a student with a specific learning disability in reading.
Parent claims that the student was denied a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”) for a period from the 2014-2015 school year through January 2017 related to allegations of deficiencies in failing to identify the student’s disability prior to November 2016 and in the student’s reading programming in the period from the issuance of the November 2016 evaluation report (“ER”) through mid-January 2017.4 Parent seeks a quantitative/hour- for-hour compensatory education as a remedy.
The District counters that it timely identified the student’s reading disability. Additionally, the District asserts that at all times its programming was designed to provide FAPE to the student and, when implemented, provided FAPE for the period of parent’s allegations. As such, the District argues that the parent is not entitled to a compensatory education remedy.
For the reasons set forth below, I find in favor of the parent.
Did the District meet its obligations
to provide FAPE to the student
for claims timely presented in the complaint?
If this question is answered in the negative,
is the student entitled to compensatory education?