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The GAP Attorneys Blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘Private school reimbursement’

School district not permitted to seek reimbursement from parents of private school payments ordered at administrative level even if a court ultimately rules in favor of the school district by overturning the administrative decision

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Atlanta Independent School System v. S.F., 55 IDELR 97 (N.D. Ga. 2010): The federal district court held that a school district was not entitled to seek reimbursement from the parents of a child with autism for private school funds that the school district was ordered to pay at the administrative level.  The court concluded that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the “stay put” interests it protects prevents school districts from seeking reimbursement from parents who rely on and implement the administrative decision (even though it is later overturned).

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Although student’s recommended placement included students of various ages and achievement levels, placement was appropriate since student’s were appropriately subgrouped

Friday, March 25th, 2011

W.T. v. Board of Education of the School District of New York City, 54 IDELR 192 (S.D.N.Y. 2010):  The Court reluctantly deferred to the decision of the State Review Officer (SRO) who denied the parents’ request for tuition reimbursement brought on behalf of their learning disabled child.  The parents’ primary concern was that the placement recommended by the school district included students ages eight through eleven, and academic achievement levels spanning as many as five years apart.  Despite the fact that the classroom seemingly violated the New York State regulation, which states that achievement levels in a given classroom shall not exceed thirty-six months in range, the Court affirmed the decision of the SRO that the classroom was appropriate since the student’s were appropriately supgrouped.

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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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Student’s graduation with regular diploma does not extinguish student’s stay-put rights during pendency of dispute over student’s graduation

Friday, December 17th, 2010

R.Y. v. State of Hawaii, Department of Education, 54 IDELR 4 (D. Hawaii 2010):  The parent of an emotionally disturbed, privately placed student, challenged the school district’s decision to issue the student a high school diploma.  Although the court agreed with the hearing officer that the student met all of Hawaii’s graduation requirements, the court concluded that the student continues to have rights under the stay-put provision of the IDEA during the parent’s appeal of that decision.  Although the parent argued that as a remedy the parent is entitled to private school tuition reimbursement, the court remanded the case to the hearing officer for determination of an appropriate remedy.

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