SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER
Child’s Name: K. R.
Date of Birth: [redacted]
Dates of Hearing:
May 20, 2014 July 7, 2014 July 10, 2014
ODR File No. 14830-1314KE
Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]
Slippery Rock Area School District 201 Kiester Road
Slippery Rock, PA 16057
Pamela E. Berger, Esquire 434 Grace Street Pittsburgh, PA 15211
Thomas E. Breth, Esquire
Dillon, McCandless, King, Coulter, & Graham LLP
128 West Cunningham Street
Butler, PA 16001
Date Record Closed: August 4, 2014
Date of Decision: August 10, 2014
Hearing Officer: Cathy A. Skidmore, M.Ed., J.D.
INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The Student (hereafter Student)1 is a teenaged student in the Slippery Rock Area School District (hereafter District) who is eligible for special education pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).2 Student’s Parent filed a due process complaint against the District asserting that it denied Student a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) under the IDEA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973,3 as well as the federal and state regulations implementing those statutes.
The case proceeded to a due process hearing which convened over three sessions, at which the parties presented evidence in support of their respective positions. The Parent sought to establish that the District failed to provide Student with FAPE by failing to timely identify Student under the IDEA, and failing to provide an appropriate education in the least restrictive environment throughout the time period in question. The District maintained that its child find obligations as well as its special education program, as offered and implemented, did not violate the IDEA or deprive Student of FAPE.
Following review and consideration of all of the testimony and documentary evidence,4 and for the reasons set forth below, I find in favor of the Parent and Student.
- Whether the District failed in its Child Find obligations to appropriately and timely identify Student as eligible under the IDEA; and,
- Whether the Student was provided with an appropriate educational program during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years; and,
- If the District did not provide Student with FAPE, is Student entitled to compensatory education and, if so, in what form and amount; and,
- Whether the Student requires an out of District placement.