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Posts Tagged ‘Meaningful educational benefit’

Student’s progress under prior IEPs demonstrates that an IEP based on previous programs will be effective

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

Ganje ex rel. J.M.G. v. Depew Union Free Sch. Dist., 60 IDELR 74 (W.D.N.Y. 2012)—in this case, a parent claimed that her son with dyslexia had not made any progress in his current placement. As a result, the parent placed the student in a private school and brought a claim for reimbursement against the district for two years of private schooling. The magistrate judge upheld the SRO’s finding that the student made meaningful progress under his previous IEPs, and the District Court agreed. Therefore, the proposed IEPs were reasonably calculated to provide a meaningful educational benefit, and the parent’s reimbursement claim was denied.

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School district’s recommended placement appropriate despite more than three year gap in student achievement levels

Monday, June 25th, 2012

S.F. and Y.D. v. New York City Department of Education, 57 IDELR 287 (S.D.N.Y. 2011): The parents of a thirteen-year-old student with a learning disability were denied private school tuition reimbursement for their unilateral placement despite the fact that the school district’s recommended placement included students with academic achievement levels ranging from a third-grade level to a seventh-grade level.  The parents had argued that the gap in academic achievement levels violated New York State law.  The Court noted that although under New York state law there is a maximum three-year range that applies to the chronological age of students, there is no maximum range for levels of academic achievement.  The Court also determined that the inclusion of one student with an emotional disturbance and one student classified as other health impaired, did not make the proposed placement inappropriate.  The requirement to place students with students of similar needs does not necessarily prohibit placing students of varying disabilities in the same classroom.

In addition, the Court concluded that the school district did not procedurally violate the IDEA by not allowing the student’s parent to visit the recommended placement.  Nor did the school district commit a procedural violation when they included a regular education teacher at the student’s IEP team meeting who had not taught regular education for nearly twenty years.

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Parent’s denied private school tuition reimbursement where school district’s proposed IEP moderately increased services included in the IEP from prior year when the student had made progress

Monday, June 18th, 2012

B.O. and P.S. v. Cold Spring Harbor Central School District, 57 IDELR 130 (E.D.N.Y. 2011): The parents of a student classified as Other Health Impaired were denied tuition reimbursement for their unilateral placement in a private school for students with language-related learning disabilities.  The court reasoned that the student made progress under his IEP from the prior year and the IEP team’s decision to moderately increase services under the proposed IEP was appropriate.  While the parents presented expert witnesses who testified that the student would have benefited from the private school placement, these witnesses did not speak to whether the student would have benefited from the school district’s proposed placement.  The school district presented sufficient evidence that the school district’s proposed placement offered the student meaningful educational benefit.

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Parents entitled to reimbursement for academic (although not residential) aspect of private placement due to District’s failure to address intelligent student’s severe deficits in written expression

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Klein Independent School District v. Hovem, 55 IDELR 92 (S.D. Tex. 2010):  The Court determined that the IEP of a student diagnosed with a learning disability and mild to moderate attention deficit disorder (ADD) was not reasonably calculated to provide him with “meaningful” educational benefit.  Although the student was an intelligent student who was passing from grade to grade, he had severe deficits in written expression, which the District’s program did not appropriately address.  The Court reasoned that although passing from grade to grade is an important factor in determining whether a child is provided with a free appropriate public education (FAPE), an IEP must be examined in light of a student’s individual disability.  The Court reimbursed the student’s parents for the academic aspect of their unilateral private placement.  However, the Court did not reimburse the parents for the residential aspect of the placement.  Although the evidence in the record demonstrated that the residential aspect of the placement was helpful to the student, the Court determined that it was not essential for the student to obtain meaningful educational benefit.

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Student’s failure to make progress on all IEP goals did not equal denial of FAPE

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Adrianne and Joshua D. v. Lakeland Central School District, 54 IDELR 95 (S.D.N.Y. 2010):  The parents of a student with a learning disability, who struggled in reading and math in sixth grade and was removed from public school in seventh grade, were denied  reimbursement for the student’s private placement in eighth grade.  Although the parents argued that the IEP offered by the school district for the student’s eighth grade year was substantially the same as offered in sixth grade (including the continuation of the Wilson reading program), the school district demonstrated that the student had made progress under the sixth grade IEP.  The student demonstrated difficulty in only one out of ten goals in reading.  The student achieved all of his writing skills goals, other than spelling, and had advanced to seventh grade.  Since, the student made progress under the sixth grade IEP, the eighth grade IEP, which offered an even more intense reading program (i.e. a reading class every day as opposed to two days per six-day cycle), was reasonably calculated to offer meaningful educational benefit.  The court also concluded that although the parents may have established that the student made greater progress under the Orton-Gillingham reading program, this did not affect the appropriateness of the school district’s recommendation since the IDEA did not require the school district to provide more than a “basic floor of opportunity.”

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