RL vs. Pennsylvania Department of Corrections

Special Education Hearing Officer


Child’s Name: R. L.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Dates of Hearing: 1/24/2017, 1/25/2017 and 1/26/2017

ODR File No. 18312-16-17


Parties to the Hearing:

Student [Student]

Local Education Agency Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
1920 Technology Parkway Mechanicsburg, PA 17050


Student Attorney Heather Hulse Esq. McAndrews Law Office 30 Cassatt Avenue Berwyn, PA 19312

LEA Attorney
Kelly J. Hoke Esq.
Debra S. Rand, Esq Department of Corrections Office of Chief Counsel 1920 Technology Parkway Mechanicsburg, PA 17050

Date of Decision: March 20, 2017

Hearing Officer: Brian Jason Ford, JD, CHO


[The Student] (Student) is [beyond 21] years old. The Student has been incarcerated in various Pennsylvania State Correctional Institutes (SCIs) since the age of 17. From the start of the Student’s incarceration through the end of the school year in which the Student turned 21, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (Department) was the Student’s Local Educational Agency (LEA).1

The Student alleges that the Department failed to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE), in violation of both the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq. and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), 29 U.S.C. § 701 et seq., as well as their federal and Pennsylvania implementing regulations. The Student alleges that the denial of FAPE was absolute, or nearly so, for the period from November 2013 through August 2016.

The Student demands compensatory education to remedy the denial of FAPE.2 For reasons discussed below, I find in the Student’s favor.


  1. What amount of compensatory education, if any, is owed for a denial of FAPE that occurred from November 19, 2013 to November 5, 2014 while the Student was incarcerated at [SCIs]?
  2. Did the Department deny the Student a FAPE from November 6, 2014 to the end of the 2015-16 school year while Student was incarcerated at [an] SCI? If so, what amount of compensatory education, if any, is owed for that denial of FAPE?

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