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The GAP Attorneys Blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘State Review Officer (SRO)’

Student denied compensatory education after being unable to prove gross violation of IDEA

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

In re: Student with a Disability, 57 IDELR 179 (SEA NY 2011): Following precedent of the United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, The New York State Review Officer (SRO) determined that in order for a student who is no longer eligible for special education by reason of age or graduation to be awarded compensatory education, the student must prove a gross violation of the IDEA resulting in a denial of FAPE.  In this case the parent of a student with a learning disability claimed that the student, who was 22 years old at the time of the due process hearing, was entitled to compensatory education due to the school district’s failure to provide him with an appropriate vocational program.  However, the SRO refused to find a gross violation of the IDEA since the parent had rejected a vocational program that would have been appropriate for the student.

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IHO has jurisdiction to order student’s placement in private school where IEP is inappropriate and private school appropriately meets student’s needs

Friday, June 15th, 2012

In re: Student with a Disability, 57 IDELR 117 (SEA NY 2011): The New York State Review Officer (SRO) determined that the school district failed to meet its burden of proving that the IEP of a student with oppositional defiant disorder and adjustment disorder offered a FAPE, when the school district proposed to declare the IEP a nullity and convene a new IEP meeting for the student.  At the due process hearing, although the school district presented documentary evidence, it failed to present any witnesses in order to defend the program in the student’s IEP.  Having disagreed with the placement offered by the school district, the parents removed the student from the public school and placed her in a charter school.  In its due process complaint notice, the parents requested an order for the student’s placement in a private school, which the parent pre-selected.  Having determined that the school district failed to meet its burden that it offered the student a FAPE and that the private school sought by the parents was appropriate, the SRO ordered the student’s placement in the private school (presuming that the private school accepted the student).  The SRO overruled the decision of the Impartial Hearing Officer (IHO) that she lacked jurisdiction to order the student’s placement in the private school.

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Student’s academic and behavioral problems were a result of social maladjustment, not an emotional disturbance

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

W.G. v. New York City Department of Education, 56 IDELR 260 (S.D.N.Y. 2011): The parents of a student with conduct and personality disorders – including Oppositional Defiance Disorder – were denied reimbursement for a unilateral private school placement after the court affirmed the decision of the State Review Officer (SRO) concluding that the student was not eligible for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  The court found that the student’s academic and behavioral problems were a result of a social maladjustment, which more specifically for this student included narcissistic personality traits, conduct and personality disorders, and substance abuse.  The court noted that “social maladjustment” is specifically excluded from the definition of “emotional disturbance,” which is one of the thirteen disability categories defined in the IDEA and the only disability category for which the parents argued the student met the criteria.

NOTE: Another federal district court in New York arrived at a similar conclusion in a similar case (on almost the same date).  See P.C. v. Oceanside Union Free School District.

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