ML vs. Abington Heights School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: M.L.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

ODR No. 16460-14-15-KE

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]

Abington Heights School District 200 East Grove Street
Clarks Summit, PA 18411-1776

Representative:

Harry McGrath, Esquire
O’Malley, Harris, Durkin & Perry, P.C. 345 Wyoming Avenue
Scranton, PA 18503

William J. McPartland, Esquire
Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin
50 Glemaura National Boulevard Moosic, PA 18507

Dates of Hearing: August 17, 2015

Record Closed: August 27, 2015

Date of Decision: September 4, 2015

Hearing Officer: William F. Culleton, Jr., Esquire, CHO

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The child in this matter (Student)1 lives within the respondent District. (NT 33-34.) Student has graduated from a District high school, (NT 6), and has been admitted to a post-secondary educational institution (College), (NT 5-7). When in the District’s schools, Student was identified as a child with a disability 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). Student’s parent (Parent) asserts that the District discriminated against Student on the basis of disability, specifically by refusing to provide post-secondary transition services in the form of an evaluation required by the College, to which Student intends to matriculate. Parent seeks an order that the District provide the requested evaluation at this time.

The hearing was completed in one session. I have weighed all of the testimonial and documentary evidence of record. I conclude that the District violated section 504 by failing to provide Student with the requested evaluation, and I order the District to provide the requested evaluation.

ISSUES

  1. Did Student have a right under section 504 to post-secondary transitional services?
  2. If Student had a right under section 504 to post-secondary transitional services, did section 504 give Student a right to a comprehensive psychoeducational evaluation, for purposes of preparation of a section 504 plan by the College, as part of such services?
  3. If Student had a right to a comprehensive psychoeducational evaluation under section 504, did Student’s graduation from high school in June 2015 terminate any such right?
  4. Did the District comply with any obligation under section 504 to provide post-secondary transitional services in the form of a comprehensive psychoeducational evaluation for purposes of preparation of a section 504 plan by the College?
  5. Should the hearing officer order the District to provide Student with a comprehensive psychoeducational evaluation as requested by Parent, for purposes of the preparation of a section 504 plan by the College?
M-L-Abington-Heights-ODRNo-16460-14-15-KE

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