Student vs. Plum Borough School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: Student
Date of Birth: xx/xx/xx
Dates of Hearing: March 9, April 9, April 20, May 7, May 13 2010

CLOSED HEARING

ODR Case # 00628-09-10-AS

Parties to the Hearing:

Plum Borough School District 900 Elicker Road
Plum Borough, PA 15239

Representative:

Edward Feinstein, Esquire Stember Feinstein
429 Forbes Avenue/17th Floor Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Andy Evankovich, Esquire Andrews & Price
1500 Ardmore Boulevard Suite 506

Pittsburgh, PA 15221

Date Record Closed: June 7, 2010

Date of Decision: June 22, 2010

Hearing Officer: Jake McElligott, Esquire

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Student (“student”) is a 15-year old student residing in the Plum Borough School District (“District”) who has been identified as a student with a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Improvement Act of 2004 (“IDEIA”) and Pennsylvania special education regulations (“Chapter 14”).1 The parties agree that the student qualifies under these provisions of law. The parties disagree over the student’s past and current special education programming. Specifically, the student’s parents allege that, through multiple acts and omissions, the District mis-identified the student and has denied the student a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”) as required under IDEIA and Chapter 14. Parents seek compensatory education and reimbursement for private tutoring as a result of these alleged deprivations. Parents also seek a unilateral private placement by hearing officer order. The District counters that at all times it has provided a FAPE to the student and met its obligations under IDEIA and Chapter 14.

Parents’ claimed compensatory education in excess of two years. The first hearing session was devoted to evidence on the scope of the parents’ claims pursuant to 34 C.F.R. §§300.507 and 300.511(f). As a result of the evidence presented, the District was found not to have misrepresented or withheld information regarding the student’s special education program. Therefore, the scope of the hearing, and any potential recovery, were limited to a period after January 11, 2008 (two years prior to the date parents’ complaint was filed).

For the reasons set forth below, I find in favor of the parents and student.

ISSUES

Has the student been denied a FAPE by the District under the terms of IDEIA/Chapter 14?

If so, is compensatory education owed to the student? If so, is reimbursement owed for private tutoring?

If so, is the student entitled to a due process order for a private placement at a specific private school?

Student-Plum-Borough-ODRNo-00628-09-10-AS-

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