EN vs. Port Allegany School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: E.N.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Dates of Hearing:

January 8, 2013

January 9, 3013 January 15, 2013 January 16, 2013

CLOSED HEARING

ODR Case # 3346-1213KE

Parties to the Hearing: Parent

Port Allegany School District 20 Oak Street
Port Allegany, PA 16743

Representative:

Charles Jelley, Esquire 229 South Maple Street Greensburg, PA 15601

Jeffrey Champagne, Esquire McNees, Wallace & Nurick 100 Pine Street
P.O. Box 1166

Harrisburg, PA 17108

Date Record Closed: March 18, 2013

Date of Decision: April 9, 2013

Hearing Officer: Jake McElligott, Esquire

 

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

[Student] (hereinafter “student”) is a [teenaged] student who resides in the Port Allegany School District (“District”) and who has been identified as a student with a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Improvement Act of 2004 (“IDEIA”) and Pennsylvania special education regulations (“Chapter 14”).1 Specifically, the student has been identified as a student as having specific learning disabilities and speech and language impairment. Parent alleges that the student was denied a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”) as the result of allegedly inappropriate evaluation processes/reports and individualized education plans (“IEPs”).

Additionally, parent makes claims that the student was denied FAPE under the provisions of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (“Section 504”),2 as well as claims that the student suffered discrimination, prohibited by Section 504, as a result of deliberate indifference on the part of the District. As a result, parent seeks an award of compensatory education, accruing from July 3, 2010 (two years prior to the filing date of the complaint), a prospective order for a residential placement at a private school specializing in reading disorders, and a finding that the District engaged in discrimination against the student.

The District counters that that it met its obligations to the student under IDEIA and Section 504. Therefore, the District asserts that no remedy is owed, whether compensatory education or an order for a prospective placement. The District also disputes that there is no basis for a finding of discrimination.

For the reasons set forth below, I find in favor of the parent and student on claims for compensatory education arising out of a denial of FAPE, and in favor of the District on claims of discrimination. I decline to order a prospective private placement for the student.

ISSUES

Was the student provided with FAPE
during the 2010-2011 (5th grade), 2011-2012 (6th grade), and/or 2012-2013 (7th grade) school years?

If the answer to this question is “yes”,
is compensatory education owed to the student?

Is the student entitled to a prospective placement,
by hearing officer order, at a residential private placement?

Did the District discriminate against the student in violation of Section 504?

E-N-Port-Allegany-ODRNo-3346-1213KE

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