JM vs. School District of Philadelphia

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: J. M.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

CLOSED HEARING

ODR Case # 15036-1314KE

Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s[

School District of Philadelphia Office of General Counsel
440 N Broad Street, Suite 313 Philadelphia, PA 19130

Representative:

Jason Fortenberry, Esquire Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia
1709 Benjamin Franklin Parkway 2nd Floor

Philadelphia, PA 19103

Brian Subers, Esquire
Fox Rothschild LLP, 10 Sentry Parkway
Suite 200, PO Box 3001
Blue Bell, PA 19422-3001

Date Record Closed: June 20, 2014

Date of Decision: June 20, 2014

Hearing Officer: William Culleton, Esquire

 

PENNSYLVANIA
SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER


IN RE: THE EDUCATIONAL ASSIGNMENT OF

JM

A RESIDENT OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PHILADELPHIA ODR FILE NUMBER 15036-13-14-KE

MEMORANDUM AND FINAL ORDER OF THE HEARING OFFICER
ON LOCAL EDUCATION AGENCY MOTIONS TO DISMISS AND CONSOLIDATE
THE MATTER WITH ODR NUMBER 15039

MEMORANDUM

This is a due process request by the Parent of the above captioned Student regarding the provision of special education services to the Student by the School District of Philadelphia (District). The complaint consists of an ODR form for Complaint Notice, with an attached statement in pleading form. The complaint names multiple parties in the same document. One of the respondents is the School District of Philadelphia, and another respondent is [a Second] School District1.

The Student, a resident of the District, was placed by a social service agency at a residential treatment facility and allegedly was admitted there in the Fall of 2013. This facility is located within another school district, the [Second] School District. Parent alleged that both districts failed to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE).

The District moved to dismiss, arguing that state law places the responsibility for educational planning and services upon the district in which a residential placement is located, thus absolving the District of responsibility and liability for the period during which Student was located at the residential treatment facility. The Parent responded by withdrawing all claims against the District for the period of time in which Student was in the residential treatment facility. However, Parent continues to oppose the motion, arguing that the complaint nevertheless alleges failures of the District during the period prior to the Student’s admission to the treatment facility.

The District argues strenuously that the complaint cannot be read reasonably to allege any violation prior to the Student’s placement at the treatment facility. I conclude that the pleading cannot be read reasonably as Parent suggests and I dismiss the complaint.2

J-M-Philadelphia-ODRNo-15036-1314KE

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