LB vs. Hamberg Area School District

PENNSYLVANIA
SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER

DECISION

DUE PROCESS HEARING

Name of Child: L.B.

ODR #15422/14-15 AS

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Dates of Hearing: November 24, 2014 January 16, 2015

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]

Hamberg Area School District 701 Windsor Street
Hamberg, PA 19526

Representative:
Jennifer Bradley, Esquire McAndrews Law Offices 30 Cassatt Avenue Berwyn, PA 19312

Mark Walz, Esquire
Sweet, Stevens, Katz and Williams PO Box 5069
331 Butler Avenue
New Britain, PA 18901

Date Record Closed: February 10, 2015

Date of Decision: February 26, 2015

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

Background

Student1 is a late teen-aged 12th grade student who is eligible for special education under the classifications of speech/language impairment and specific learning disability. The Parents brought this due process matter pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act [IDEA]2, Section 5043 and Pennsylvania Chapters 14 and 15. The District and Parents came to a resolution in a previous matter and the terms of the agreement included funding an educational trust for Student. The Parents chose to use funds from the trust to enroll Student in a private school [Private School] for students with learning disabilities beginning in the 2012-2013 school year; the fund covered two years of tuition. The parties’ agreement also included the provision that the District would re-evaluate Student in spring 2014. Based upon the evaluation results the District sought to return Student to the District high school for senior year. The Parents disagreed, kept Student at Private School and seek tuition reimbursement for the 2014- 2015 school year. For reasons put forth below I find for the District.

Issue[s]

Was the final IEP the District offered to Student for the 2014-2015 school year appropriate?

If the IEP was not appropriate, was the placement the Parents unilaterally chose to continue appropriate?

If the IEP was not appropriate and the Parents’ unilateral placement was appropriate, are there equitable considerations that would remove or reduce the District’s obligation to reimburse the Parents for tuition?

L-B-Hamberg-Area-ODRNo-15422-14-15-AS

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