Student vs. School District Central York

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

IN RE: DUE PROCESS HEARING FOR A STUDENT

IN THE CENTRAL YORK SCHOOL DISTRICT

Date of Birth: [REDACTED]

Dates of Hearing: 09/30/08, 11/06/08, 12/04/08, 01/08/09

OPEN HEARING

ODR No. 9036/08-09 LS

Parties to the Hearing: Parents [REDACTED]

School District Central York
755 Marion Road York, PA 17402

Representative:
Parent Attorney: None

School District Attorney
Stephen, Russell, Esq.
Stock and Leader
Susquehanna Commerce Center East 221 W. Philadelphia Street, Suite 600 York, PA 17401-2994

Date Record Closed: February 9, 2009

Date of Decision: February 24, 2009

Hearing Officer: Anne L. Carroll, Esq.

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Student, currently a middle school student in the Central York School District, is eligible for special education services by reason of Other Health Impairment (OHI) and Speech/Language Impairment incident to a medical diagnosis of cerebral palsy. Student resides with, and is in the physical and legal custody of Grandparents, who fulfill the role of “Parents” as that term is defined in the IDEA statute and regulations, and will hereafter be designated and referred to as such. 20 U.S.C. §14, 34 C.F.R. §300.30(a)(4).

Parents contend that Student was denied a free, appropriate, public education (FAPE) during the 2007/2008 school year primarily because of placement in a learning support classroom for all academic subjects. Parents asserted that Student’s 2007/2008 placement constituted a violation of the School District’s obligation to assure that Student received FAPE in the least restrictive environment (LRE) appropriate for Student.

The hearing took place over four sessions between September 30, 2008 and January 8, 2009. In connection with a pre-hearing ruling granting the District’s challenge to the sufficiency of the original complaint, Parents were permitted to submit an amended complaint. In response to the District’s objections prior to convening the first hearing session, Parents were not permitted to raise issues not asserted in the amended complaint, and no evidence was permitted with respect to issues that had previously been adjudicated via a complaint to the Bureau of Special Education.

For the reasons explained in detail herein, I find that the Central York School District violated its LRE obligation during the 2007/2008 school year and will award compensatory education for that violation.

ISSUES

  1. Did the Central York School District provide Student with a free, appropriate public education during the 2007/2008 School year?
    1. Did the Central York School District assure that Student was placed in the least restrictive environment appropriate for Student during the 2007/2008 school year?
    2. Did Student make meaningful educational progress during the 2007/2008 school year?
    3. Did Central York School District provide Student with appropriate related services during the 2007/2008 school year?
  2. Is Student entitled to compensatory education for the 2007/2008 school year, and if so, in what amount and what form?
Student-Central-York-ODRNo-9036-08-09-LS

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