Special Education Hearing Officer
FINAL DECISION AND ORDER
Student’s Name: K.W.
Date of Birth: [redacted]
ODR No. 13815-1213AS
Parties to the Hearing:
Penn Argyl School District 1602 Teels Road
Pen Argyl, PA 18072
Drew Christian, Esq. 801 Monroe Avenue Scranton, PA 18510
William J. McPartland, Esq. P.O. Box 3118
Scranton, PA 18505-3118
Dates of Hearing: 09/25/2013, 11/12/2013
Record Closed: 12/11/2013
Date of Decision: 12/27/2013
Hearing Officer: Brian Jason Ford
Introduction and Procedural History
This matter arises under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq. and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), 34 C.F.R. Part 104.4. In this case, the Student has historically qualified for special education and related services under the IDEA.1 In March of 2013, the District determined that the Student no longer qualified for IDEA services, but continued to qualify for services under Section 504. Subsequent to that determination, the Parent requested this due process hearing. The Parent alleges that the District denied the
Student a free appropriate public education (FAPE) prior to the District’s determination of ineligibility. The Parent further claims that the District’s determination of ineligibility was improper, and that the Student remains IDEA-eligible. The Parent also claims that the District promised to fund an independent educational evaluation (IEE) for the Student, but has failed to do so; and that the Student is entitled to an IEE at public expense regardless of the District’s promise. To remedy these violations, the Parent demands compensatory education, an IEE at public expense, and a finding that the Student is IDEA-eligible.2
This hearing was requested on April 29, 2013. A hearing was scheduled for May 30, 2013. The parties jointly sought a continuance, asking the Hearing Officer to leave the matter unscheduled, and asking to provide a status update by June 6, 2013. The
Hearing Officer reported that the parties’ proposed course of action would likely yield a significant delay, but the parties confirmed that this was their preference, and moved to extend the decision due date. On June 6, 2013 the parties reported that the District’s board would discuss this matter on June 18, 2013, and asked to postpone a further status update to June 20, 2013. That motion was granted. On July 1, 2013, the parties reported that they were unable to resolve this matter. A number of correspondences regarding the schedule for this matter were then sent and received, yielding the schedule ultimately reflected in the cover page of this Decision.
- For the period of time from April 29, 2011 through March 4, 2013, did the Student receive a FAPE?
- Did the District correctly determine that the Student was no longer IDEA-eligible on March 4, 2013?
- Is the Student entitled to an IEE at public expense?
- For the period of time from March 4, 2013 through the present, if the Student was IDEA-eligible, did the Student receive a FAPE pursuant to the IDEA?
- For the period of time from March 4, 2013 through the present, if the student was not IDEA-eligible, did the Student receive a FAPE pursuant to Section 504?