TW vs. School District of Philadelphia

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Student’s Name: T.W.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

ODR No. 14391-13-14-KE

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]

School District of Philadelphia 440 North Broad Street, Suite 313 Philadelphia, PA 19130

Representatives:

Danielle M. Karcich, Esquire Glenn P. Callahan, Esquire Barbara Gotthelf, Esquire McCarter and English, LLP BNY Mellon Bank Center 1735 Market Street, Suite 700 Philadelphia, PA 19103

Sonja D. Kerr, Esquire
Public Interest Law Center
1709 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, 2d Fl. Philadelphia, PA 19103

Sarah Davis, Esquire
Fox Rothschild, L.L.P.
10 Sentry Parkway, Suite 200 P.O. Box 3001
Blue Bell, PA 19422-3001

Dates of Hearing: November 27, 2013; January 8, 2014

Record Closed: January 31, 2014

Date of Decision: February 26, 2014

Hearing Officer: William F. Culleton, Jr., Esquire

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The Student named in the title page of this decision (Student) is an eligible resident of the School District named in the title page of this decision (District). (NT 36.) Student is identified with Specific Learning Disability pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. §1401 et seq. (IDEA) and Pa. Code Chapter 14. (NT 36.)

The District requested due process, asking the hearing officer to declare that its evaluation dated September 24, 2013, was appropriate, thus relieving the District of its obligation under the IDEA to provide Parent with an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE), which Parent had requested. The District amended its complaint1 to add a request for a declaratory order that its Individualized Education Program (IEP), offered on October 11, 2013, constituted an offer of a free appropriate public education (FAPE).

The hearing was completed in two sessions, and the record closed upon receipt of written summations. I conclude that the District’s evaluation was appropriate despite a procedural violation, that Parent is not entitled to an IEE, and that the District’s offered IEP constituted an offer of a FAPE.

ISSUES2

  1. Was the District’s evaluation dated September 24, 2013, appropriate?
  2. Is the Parent entitled to an IEE at public expense?
  3. Did the District’s proposed IEP offer Student a free appropriate public education3?
T-W-School-District-of-Philadelphia-ODRNo-14391-13-14-KE

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