NS vs. Souderton Area School District

PENNSYLVANIA
SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER

DECISION
DUE PROCESS HEARING

Name of Child: NS

ODR #6506/05-06 AS

Date of Birth: xx/xx/xx

Date of Hearing: June 17, 2006

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Parents

Souderton Area School District 760 Lower Road
Souderton, Pennsylvania 18964

Representative:
Frederick Stanczak, Esquire
179 North Broad Street Doylestown, Pennsylvania 18901

Karl Romberger, Esquire
Fox, Rothschild O’Brien & Frankel 1250 S. Broad Street, PO Box 431 Lansdale, Pennsylvania 19446

Transcript Received: June 26, 2006

Date of Decision: July 10, 2006

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

Background

Student is a xx-year-old eligible student residing in the Souderton Area School District (hereinafter District). Following a re-evaluation by the District and an IEP meeting a dispute arose between the parties, and the District proposed conducting further assessments using an outside evaluator of its choosing. Mr. and Mrs. [redacted] (hereinafter Parents) initially declined the District’s request for permission to reevaluate, but later agreed, contingent on the use of an outside evaluator whom they had selected. The District maintained its right to use its own evaluator. The Parents then asserted that the District’s reevaluation was inappropriate, and that they therefore were entitled to an IEE at public expense by an evaluator of their own choosing. Although the issue was framed differently by each party, the bottom line issue of this case involved the identity of the professional who would be conducting an outside assessment of Student.

The hearing officer and the attorneys met at considerable length before the hearing started, and discussed readily evident and fairly obvious solutions to this matter, but neither party was able to move from its fixed position. Hence the matter went to hearing.

Issues

  1. Should the School District be granted permission to evaluate Student using an outside evaluator of its own choosing?
  2. Are Parents entitled to an independent educational evaluation of their son Student at public expense with an evaluator of their choosing?
NS-Souderton-Area-ODRNo-6506-05-06-AS

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