SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER
DUE PROCESS HEARING
Name of Child: J.G.
ODR #17816 / 15-16 AS
Date of Birth: [redacted]
Dates of Hearing: September 13, 2016 September 21, 2016 October 19, 2016
Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]
Delaware County Intermediate Unit 200 Yale Avenue
Morton, PA 19070
Representative: Pro Se
Gabrielle Sereni, Esquire Raffaele & Puppio
19 W. Third Street Media, PA 19063
Date of Decision: November 19, 2016
Hearing Officer: Linda M. Valentini, Psy.D., CHO Certified Hearing Official
The Child1 is a preschool-aged child residing within the boundaries of the Delaware County Intermediate Unit (IU) who is eligible for special education pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Pennsylvania Chapter 14 under the classification of Autism. As such, the Child is also an individual with a disability as defined under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 794. The Parents2 requested this hearing3 because they believe that the program and placement the IU offered for the Child is inappropriate, and that in order to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) the Child requires a placement in a specific private program (Private Program) for autistic children. The IU maintains that its offer of a reverse mainstreaming program and placement offer (IU Placement) is appropriate. The Parents are asking for the IU to fund the Private Placement they have selected, to reimburse them for the tuition to the private classroom (Classroom) in which the Child is currently enrolled, and to reimburse them for an independent educational evaluation (IEE) they obtained, the report of which was not received until early in September 2016 shortly before the first hearing session.4
Based upon the preponderance of the evidence before me I find in favor of the Intermediate Unit.
- Is the IEP the IU offered to the Child via a NOREP on July 27, 2016 appropriate?
- Is the placement the IU offered appropriate?
- Must the IU reimburse the Parents for the tuition they paid to the current Classroom?
- Must the IU reimburse the Parents for an Independent Educational Evaluation they obtained for the Child?