QB vs. Pennsylvania Department of Education

Pennsylvania

Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: Q.B.

DateofBirth: [redacted]

Dates of Hearing: 8/18/2016

DECISION DECIDED BY MOTION

ODR File No. 18044-16-17

Parties to the Hearing:

Parents Parent[s]

Local Education Agency
Pennsylvania Department of Education 333 Market Street, 9th Floor Harrisburg, PA 17101

Representative:

Parent Attorney
Daniel Cooper Esq.
Law Offices of Kenneth S. Cooper 45 E. City Avenue, #400
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 610-608-6185

LEA Attorney
Elizabeth Anzalone Esq. 333 Market Street, 9th Floor Harrisburg, PA 17126 717-787-5500

Date: September 9, 2016

Hearing Officer: Charles W. Jelley Esq. LL.M.

Background1

  1. During the 2015-2016 school year, the Student was enrolled as a 6th grader and attended Charter School.
  2. Sometimepriortoorduringthe2015-2016schoolyear,theStudentwas diagnosed, by a private provider, as a person with an Intermittent Explosive Disorder. During 6th grade, the Student failed some classes and had ongoing behavioral, social, and educational problems.
  3. Atalltimesrelevant,theCharterSchoolwastheLocalEducationalAgency (LEA) responsible for locating, evaluating and educating the Student. This responsibility is commonly called the “child find” duty. 20 U.S.C. §1412(a)(11).
  4. Sometimeduringthe2015-2016schoolyear,theLEAevaluatedtheStudent and determined the Student did not qualify as a person with a disability who needed specially-designed education as described by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). 20 U.S.C. §1401 et. seq.
  5. Pursuant to 20 U.S.C. §1413 et. seq., the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) was the State Educational Agency (SEA) responsible for direct general supervision of each LEA’s provision of IDEA services during all relevant times.
  6. PDEactingastheSEAhasageneralsupervisoryresponsibilitytoensurethat all students with a disability in the Commonwealth are located, evaluated, and educated.
  7. The Parents filed a due process complaint notice alleging the LEA Charter School failed to identify, evaluate, and educate the Student. The Parents’ complaint alleged the Charter School was the responsible LEA. To remedy the alleged violation, the Parent seeks an independent educational evaluation and compensatory education.

Issue

The issue is, does either 20 U.S.C. §1412 et seq., and/or 20 U.S.C. §1413 et. seq. of the IDEA provide jurisdiction over the SEA, thereby permitting the Student to enforce an implied or direct cause of action against the SEA? If the answer is yes, can the Student litigate the IDEA claim at an administrative due process hearing within the meaning of 20 U.S.C. §1415 et seq. The answer to both questions is no. For all the reasons set forth herein, the SEA’s Motion is granted and an appropriate Order dismissing the Parents’ claims against the SEA as exhausted is attached hereto.

Q-B-Pennsylvania-Department-of-Education-ODRNo-18044-16-17

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