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Posts Tagged ‘college program’

College program may be appropriate stay-put placement when student challenges a school district’s decision to graduate him.

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

Tindell v. Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corporation, 54 IDELR 7 (S.D. Ind. 2010):  A U.S. District Court determined a student’s pendency placement to be a college internship program, when the program in which he was currently enrolled was on the verge of closing. Since the district did not offer any alternative placement for pendency, the Court decided that the student (who was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, but was originally classified with a learning disability of written expression) should attend the college program located by his parents at district expense.

The Court rejected the school district’s argument that since the student had graduated, he was no longer entitled to special education services and, therefore, the district need not pay for any pendency placement (let alone a college program).  The Court explained that the school district could not rely on the student’s graduation to discontinue services since the parents were challenging the validity of that graduation.  When it is impossible to replicate a student’s current educational placement (such as when a school is closing), it is the school district’s responsibility to locate educational services which approximate the current program as close as possible.  Here, the school district did not locate any such placement, and the Court accepted the parents’ chosen placement.

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