Special Education Hearing Officer
Child’s Name: M.B.
Date of Birth: [redacted]
ODR No. 13762-12-13-KE
Parties to the Hearing: Parent
Abington Heights School District 200 East Grove Street
Clarks Summit, PA 18411-1776
Harry P. McGrath, Esquire McGrath Law Office
321 Spruce Street, Suite 600 Scranton, PA 18503
William J. McPartland, Esquire
Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin
50 Glemaura National Boulevard Moosic, PA 18507
Dates of Hearings: May 14, 2013; June 12, 2013
Record Closed: July 11, 2013
Date of Decision: July 20, 2013
Hearing Officer: William F. Culleton, Jr., Esquire, CHO
INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The child named in the title page of this decision (Student) is a resident of the school district named in the title page of this decision (District). (S-6.) The Student’s Parent, named on the title page of this decision (Parent), requests compensatory education for Student, and an order to create or revise an existing Service Agreement (Agreement) for Student pursuant to section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. §794 (section 504) and Chapter 15 of the Pennsylvania Code, the state regulations implementing section 504. Parent asserts that the District discriminated against Student on the basis of disability, specifically by failing to permit parental participation in developing the Agreement contrary to the federal and state regulations implementing section 504. Parent also asserts that the Agreement proposed by the District did not provide Student with a free appropriate public education (FAPE) as defined in the section 504 regulations and Chapter 15. The District denies these allegations and asserts that its Agreement addressed Student’s needs sufficiently to provide equal access to and equal benefit of the District’s educational services.
The hearing was concluded in two sessions, and the record closed upon receipt of written summations. I conclude that the Parent was denied meaningful participation, the Student was denied a FAPE, and both remedial and prospective relief will be ordered.
- Did the District fail to comply with the procedural requirements of section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. §794 (section 504) and Chapter 15, by failing to allow Parent to fully participate in the planning and development of a section 504 service agreement?
- During the relevant period, December 14, 2012 to May 14, 2013, did the District fail to provide Student with equal access to or benefit of the educational services provided to all District students, by failing to provide a section 504 service agreement that appropriately accommodated for all of Student’s disabilities that interfere with education?
- Should the hearing officer order the District to provide compensatory education to the Student for all or any part of the relevant period?
- Should the hearing officer 1) order the District to convene an educational planning meeting for purposes of developing or revising an Agreement; and 2) specify the participants to attend such meeting and other considerations?