XJ vs. Partners Charter School

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: X.J.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Date of Hearing: June 24, 2015

CLOSED HEARING

ODR Case Numbers:

15961-1415AS 15962-1415AS

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

Representative:

Kevin Golembiewski, Esquire
David Berney, Esquire
8 Penn Center
1628 J.F.K. Boulevard / Suite 1000 Philadelphia, PA 19103

Unrepresented

M. Patricia Fullerton, Esquire Elizabeth Anzelone, Esquire 333 Market Street / 9th Floor Harrisburg, PA 17101

Date Record Closed: July 27, 2015

Date of Decision: August 11, 2015

Hearing Officer: Jake McElligott, Esquire

INTRODUCTION

[Student] (“student”)1 is [an elementary school-aged] student residing in the City of Philadelphia. The student qualifies under the terms of the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Improvement Act of 2004 (“IDEIA”)2 for specially designed instruction/related services as a student with autism and speech/language impairment.

As set forth more fully below, the procedural background in these matters is complex. For the purposes relevant to these consolidated cases, from the 2011-2012 school year through December 2014, the student attended the Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners Charter School ([ ] “CS”). The CS suddenly ceased operations in December 2014, and the student began to attend the School District of Philadelphia (“SDOP”).

In March 2015, the parents filed a special education due process complaint against the CS, alleging that the charter school had denied the student a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”). Due to the closure of the CS, the parents’ complaint also named the Pennsylvania Department of Education (“PDE”) as a responding party, alleging that, to the extent [the] CS was not in a position to provide any remedy for the alleged denial of FAPE, PDE must.

For the reasons set forth below, the record supports a finding that the CS denied the student FAPE and that the student is entitled to compensatory education. Because [the] CS is unable to provide a remedy for the denial of FAPE, PDE must provide the compensatory education.

ISSUES

Was the student denied FAPE by [the] CS
for the period March 2013 through December 2014?3

If so, is the student entitled to compensatory education?
If so, must PDE provide the compensatory education remedy?

X-J-Partners-Charter-ODRNo-15962-1415AS

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