HS vs. School District of Philadelphia

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: HS

Date of Birth: xx/xx/xx

Date of Hearing: July 8, 2008

OPEN HEARING

ODR #8842/07-08 AS

Parties to the Hearing: Mr. and Ms

School District of Philadelphia 440 North Broad Street, Suite 313 Philadelphia, PA 19130-4015

Representative: Pro Se

Kimberly A. Caputo, Esquire Office of General Counsel
440 North Broad Street, Suite 313 Philadelphia, PA 19130-4015

Date Record Closed: July 14, 2008

Date of Decision: July 28, 2008

Hearing Officer: William F. Culleton, Jr., Esquire

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Student is a teen aged eligible resident of the School District of Philadelphia (District). (NT 55-58; HO-1 p. 13-141, P-1, P-2.) The Student is identified with Multiple Disabilities, including mental retardation, autism, and speech and language needs. Student requires related services including physical therapy, occupational therapy and transportation. (NT 56-59.)

Mr. and Ms. (Parents) requested due process on May 5, 2008, alleging, among other things2, that the District had failed to provide transportation as required in the IEP. As a result, the Parents alleged that they had lost employment opportunities and had incurred substantial costs for fuel and repairs for their vehicle. They requested reimbursement for lost employment opportunity and for the cost of maintenance of their vehicle.

The District, in its response dated June 23, 2008, and again at the hearing convened on July 8, 2008, (NT 27-32), moved to dismiss the Complaint Notice on grounds that the law does not authorize an administrative hearing officer to grant the requested relief. The District also asserted that the Parents had agreed to transport the Student in return for a mileage reimbursement, and that it had reimbursed the Parents for all miles submitted to the District. Ibid.

The hearing officer reserved on the motion insofar as it challenged the request for relief concerning transportation, but granted it in part by dismissing the allegations of lost employment opportunity. (NT 45-50.)
The hearing officer, in response to the District’s “five day” objection, agreed to hold the record open for five days after the hearing. (NT 50-51.) The District interposed no objections, and the record closed upon receipt of the transcript on July 14, 2008.

ISSUES

  1. Did the Parents supply transportation to the Student at any time for which they were not reimbursed?
  2. Should the hearing officer award either mileage reimbursement or the costs of maintenance and fuel for the Parents’ vehicle for any time during which the Parents were transporting the Student to school in the absence of District supplied transportation?
HS-School-District-of-Philadelphia-ODRNo-8842-07-08-AS

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