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Posts Tagged ‘removal from public school’

Parent’s removal of student from public school did not excuse school district’s failure to develop IEP

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Department of Education, State of Hawaii v. M.F., 58 IDELR 34 (D. Hawaii 2011): The federal district court stated that although a parent removed a student, classified as emotionally disturbed (due to her diagnoses of reactive attachment disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, gender identity disorder, and major depressive disorder) from a public school, the public school district still should at least have attempted to prepare IEPs for the beginning of the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 school years.  The IDEA requires a school district to give a parent prior written notice before special education and related services are discontinued, and the parent’s removal of the student did not excuse the school district from this requirement.  However, the federal court vacated and remanded the hearing officer’s decision that the parent was entitled to private school tuition reimbursement.  The court reasoned that the record was silent regarding whether, despite the school district’s procedural violation, the student suffered a “loss of educational opportunity,” since it was unclear whether the parent would have accepted a public school placement even if it was offered.  The court also stated that the hearing officer failed to address equitable considerations regarding the parent’s entitlement to reimbursement, since the parent failed to notify the school district before removing the student from the public school.

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Notice of unilateral placement for reimbursement is required only at time of initial removal.

Monday, July 11th, 2011

Letter to Miller, 55 IDELR 293 (OSEP 2010):  The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, informed an interested individual that a parent need only provide the school district with notice of a unilateral placement upon the student’s removal from the public school.  The regulatory benchmark is the child’s removal from the public school, and not the child’s enrollment in the unilateral private placement.  Thus, in order to satisfy the notice requirement, the parent need only provide notice upon the child’s initial removal from public school, and is not required to provide such notice for each subsequent school year the child attends at the unilateral placement.

However, compare this opinion with that of a U.S. District Court several months later in J.W. v. Kingston City School District.

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