Special Education Hearing Officer
Child’s Name: T.T.
Date of Birth: [redacted]
CLOSED HEARING & STIPULATED RECORD1
ODR Case Numbers:
Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]
Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners Charter School
910 North 6th Street Philadelphia, PA 19123
Pennsylvania Department of Education 333 Market Street / 9th Floor Harrisburg, PA 17101
David J. Berney, Esquire Morgen Black-Smith, Esquire 1628 J.F.K. Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Unrepresented & Non-Participatory
M. Patricia Fullerton, Esquire Elizabeth Anzalone, Esquire 333 Market Street / 9th Floor Harrisburg, PA 17101
Date of Decision: March 31, 2017
Hearing Officer: Michael J. McElligott, Esquire
[The student] (“student”)2 is [a late elementary school-aged] student residing in the [redacted school district]. The student qualifies under the terms of the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Improvement Act of 2004 (“IDEA”)3 for specially designed instruction/related services as a student with autism, specific learning disability, and speech/language impairment.
The procedural background in these matters is intricate. As set forth more fully below, the student attended the Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners Charter School (“ CS”). In December 2014, the student’s parent was informed by the CS, along with the families of other students attending the school, that it would cease operations. Thereafter, the student began to attend, and currently attends, [the local school district].
In March 2015, the parent filed with the Office of Dispute Resolution (“ODR”) a special education due process complaint against the CS to which ODR assigned the ODR file number 15959-1415AS. The complaint alleged that the CS had denied the student a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”). In the same complaint, parent alleged that, since CS was no longer operational, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (“PDE”) was responsible for remedying the alleged denial of FAPE. ODR assigned ODR file number 15960-1415AS to this complaint against PDE.
Those complaints began a chain of subsequent filings, rulings, and appeals to federal court which, ultimately, culminated in the issuance of this decision at both ODR file numbers, which have been consolidated for purposes of issuing this final decision in both matters.