Special Education Hearing Officer
Child’s Name: H.L.
Date of Birth: [Redacted]
ODR No. 2555-11-12-AS
Parties to the Hearing: Parents
Downingtown Area School District 540 Trestle Place
Downingtown, PA 19335-2643
Dennis C. McAndrews, Esquire Heidi B. Konkler-Goldsmith, Esquire McAndrews Law Offices, P.C.
30 Cassatt Avenue
Berwyn, PA 19312
Andrew E. Faust, Esquire
Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams, LLP 331 Butler Avenue
New Britain, PA 18901
Dates of Hearings: Submitted on Stipulations of Fact
Record Closed: May 1, 2012
Date of Decision: May 15, 2012
Hearing Officer: William F. Culleton, Jr., Esquire, CHO
INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The child named in the title page of this decision (Student) is enrolled in a private school (School), and is a resident of the school district named in the title page of this decision (District). Parents, named in the title page of this decision, seek tuition reimbursement for their unilateral placement of Student at the School for the 2011-2012 school year, pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. §1401 et seq. (IDEA), and the Pennsylvania Code, 22 Pa. Code §14.151 et seq. The District offered an Individualized Education Program (IEP) and Notice of Recommended Educational Placement (NOREP) to Student for the 2011-2012 school year, pursuant to a recent re-evaluation; it asserts that it is not responsible for the cost of tuition for the 2011-2012 school year.
The hearing was waived and the parties submitted stipulations of fact and supporting documents. The record closed upon receipt of the parties’ written briefs and responses.
- Did the District offer to Student a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE) for the 2011-2012 school year?
- If not, is the private school program, previously provided to Student by Parents through a unilateral placement, appropriate for the 2011-2012 school year?
- Does equity support tuition reimbursement for the Parents’ unilateral placement, and should the hearing officer order the District to pay tuition reimbursement to Parents for the private school tuition for the 2011-2012 school year?