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The GAP Attorneys Blog

Meeting the needs of people with disabilities, their families, educators & service providers

Posts Tagged ‘compensatory services’

Compensatory education award vacated where student refused to participate

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Dudley v. Lower Merion School District, 58 IDELR 12 (E.D. Pa. 2011): The federal district court declined a parent’s request for a court order to enforce the hearing officer’s award of compensatory services to a student classified with a specific learning disability and diagnosed as emotionally disturbed.  Despite a school district’s “substantial efforts” to comply, the student participated in the services only sporadically and eventually refused to participate altogether.  Although the hearing officer’s decision ordered the school district to “assure that [the student] arrives at the location . . . escorting him to the room if necessary,” the school district could not have used physical force to ensure the noncompliant student’s attendance.  The court granted the school district’s request to vacate the compensatory education award.

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Hearing officer improperly extended IDEA eligibility as a compensatory measure to a student who was awarded a regular high school diploma

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Dracut School Committee v. Bureau of Special Education Appeals, 55 IDELR 66 (D. Mass. 2010):  A student, diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Bipolar Disorder, and an anxiety disorder, was denied a FAPE when the school district failed to provide him with proper transition goals and services.  The Hearing Officer awarded the student compensatory services for the denial of FAPE and awarded the student a high school diploma.  However, having awarded the student a diploma, the Court ruled that the Hearing Officer improperly also extended the student’s IDEA eligibility for two years after graduation.  Nonetheless, the Court remanded the case back to the hearing officer to determine the appropriate level of compensatory services needed in the areas of employment and independent living.

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Hour by hour compensatory education award may be appropriate if necessary to restore a student to where he would have been had he received a FAPE.

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Friendship Edison Public Charter School Collegiate Campus v. Nesbitt, 53 IDELR 222 (D.D.C. 2009):  A U.S. District Court determined, after an evidentiary hearing, that an award of 3,300 hours of tutoring services was a suitable award of compensatory education.  The student had previously demonstrated the school he attended had denied him a FAPE.

The Court had previously rejected the same award as determined by the hearing officer based on a “cookie cutter” approach.  Although the Court presently considered the testimony of the student’s expert to be inadequate support for the expert’s suggested amount of compensatory services, after conducting its own independent analysis, the Court determined that the student’s failure to make any significant progress (and, in many respects, any progress at all) required a significant amount of tutoring in order to provide him with what he needed to make the progress he should have made while denied a FAPE.

Ultimately, the Court developed its own formula, which took into account the fact that the student should not be expected to progress at the same rate as that of a typical child, and determined that, although the expert did not provide sufficient evidence to support his conclusion, nevertheless reached an appropriate result.

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