IH vs. School District of Philadelphia

PENNSYLVANIA
SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER

DECISION

DUE PROCESS HEARING

Name of Child: I.H.

ODR #3281/11-12-KE

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Dates of Hearing1: September 14, 2012 October 11, 2012

OPEN HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Parents

School District of Philadelphia 440 North Broad Street Philadelphia, PA 19130

Representative:

Joseph Montgomery, Esquire Montgomery Law LLC
1500 Walnut Street Suite 700 Philadelphia, PA 19102

Judith Baskin, Esquire
School District of Philadelphia 440 North Broad Street Philadelphia, PA 19130

Date Record Closed: November 3, 2012

Date of Decision: November 18, 2012

Hearing Officer: Linda M. Valentini, Psy.D., CHO Certified Hearing Official

Background

Student2 is an elementary-school-age resident of the School District of Philadelphia [District] who is eligible for special education pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act [IDEA]3 under the classifications of Autism and Intellectual Disability and consequently a protected handicapped individual under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 [Section 504],4 as well as the federal and state regulations implementing those statutes.

The current matter addresses the Parents’ belief that Student has been denied a free appropriate public education [FAPE] in the District and their request for relief in the form of compensatory education and prospective placement in an approved private school.

The Parents sought to pierce the IDEA’s two-year statute of limitations because of alleged misrepresentations by the District. The hearing officer found that the Parents failed to establish the existence of an exception to the statute of limitations, and Findings of Fact and Discussion on this topic are included below. For purposes of potential recovery, the relevant period is from June 17, 20105 to the present.

Issues

  1. Did the District deny Student a free appropriate public education [FAPE] through procedural and or substantive violations?
  2. Should the District be required to and/or did the District agree to fund an independent psychological evaluation, an independent speech/language evaluation, an independent occupational therapy evaluation and an independent functional behavioral analysis with a concomitant positive behavior support plan? 6
  3. If the District denied Student a free appropriate public education what remedy is appropriate?
    1. Should Student be awarded compensatory education and if so in what form and in what amount?
    2. Should Student be placed in an Approved Private School at District expense?
I-H-School-District-of-Philadelphia-ODRNo-3281-11-12-KE

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