Student vs. Parkland School District

PENNSYLVANIA
SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER

DECISION
DUE PROCESS HEARING

Name of Child:

ODR #9481/08-09 LS

Date of Birth: Xx/xx/xx

Dates of Hearing:1 February 23, 2009 April 27, 2009 April 28, 2009 August 11, 2009 October 26, 2009

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing:

Parkland School District
1210 Springhouse Road Allentown, Pennsylvania 18104

Representative:

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

Joanne Sommer, Esquire Eastburn and Gray
60 E. Court Street
Doylestown, Pennsylvania 18901

Date Record Closed: December 8, 2009

Date of Decision: December 20, 2009

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

Background

The Student2 is currently a pre-teen aged student residing in the Parkland School District [District]. After attending kindergarten in a parochial school, Student attended public school in the District from first grade until near the beginning of fifth grade when the Parents unilaterally enrolled Student in a private school [Private School] because of their belief that Student was not receiving an appropriate education in the District. The parents requested this due process hearing under the IDEIA and under §504 of the Rehabilitation Act3 to recover the cost of tuition and transportation for the Student’s enrollment in the Private School for the 2008-2009 school year. The Parents are also requesting compensatory education from the 2003-2004 school year through the date of Student’s disenrollment from the District’s public school for the District’s alleged failure to identify the Student as eligible for special education in a timely manner and provide the Student with an appropriate education.

Issues4

  1. Did the Parkland School District fail to identify Student as a child with a disability, and as eligible by virtue of Student’s need for specially designed instruction? If so, did the District deny Student FAPE, and is Student entitled to compensatory education, in what amount and of what kind?
  2. Did the Parkland School District fail to offer Student an appropriate program and placement for the 2008-2009 school year? If the Parkland School District failed to offer an appropriate program and placement to Student for the 2008-2009 school year, is the placement unilaterally chosen by the Parents appropriate? If the District failed to offer an appropriate program and placement for Student, and the placement unilaterally chosen by the Parents is appropriate, are there equitable considerations that would reduce or eliminate the District’s obligation to provide tuition reimbursement?
Student-Parkland-ODRNo-9481-08-09-LS

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