MT vs. School District of Philadelphia

PENNSYLVANIA
SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER

DECISION
DUE PROCESS HEARING

Name of Child: MT

ODR #8695/07-08 KE

Date of Birth: xx/xx/xx

Date of Hearing: June 10, 2008

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Mr. and Mrs.

School District of Philadelphia 440 North Broad Street, 3rd Floor Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19130

Representative:
Heidi Konkler, Esquire McAndrews Law Offices
30 Cassatt Avenue
Berwyn, Pennsylvania 19312

Miles Shore, Esquire
Mimi Rose, Esquire
School District of Philadelphia 440 N. Broad Street, 3rd Floor Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19130

Date Record Closed: July 28, 2008

Date of Decision: August 11, 2008

Hearing Officer: Linda M. Valentini, Psy.D.

Background

This matter addresses a dispute about the period of time for which the District is potentially responsible for tuition reimbursement for a parentally selected placement. In January 2006 a due process hearing was held; in February 2006 the hearing officer found that the District’s IEP was inappropriate and ordered tuition reimbursement for a specific period. The Appeals Panel, in April 2006, reversed the Hearing Officer. In January 2008 the Federal Court for the Eastern District reversed the Appeals Panel, finding that the District was responsible for tuition reimbursement for a specific period that ended on January 26, 2006 which was the last day of the due process hearing. The court declined to address the period from January 26, 2006 to the end of the student’s placement on July 29, 2006, reasoning that administrative remedies had not been exhausted for that period. The parties are not currently in dispute in this forum about the substantive merits of the case, they simply disagree on the start date for reimbursement.

On the scheduled hearing date the parties through counsel presented opening statements and entered joint exhibits. They were instructed to submit written closing arguments by a date certain. The student’s father testified briefly; the parties agreed that no further testimony was necessary.

Issues

What is the start date for the potential tuition reimbursement period at [residential center] ending on July 29, 2006?

MT-School-District-of-Philadelphia-ODRNo-8695-07-08-KE

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