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Posts Tagged ‘thrity-six month age range’

Parent whose complaint was about composition of proposed classroom was not entitled to reimbursement for unilateral private placement since the child would have been suitably grouped for instruction purposes within that classroom

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

E.A.M. on behalf of E.M. v. NYC Dept. of Educ., 59 IDELR 274 (S.D.N.Y. 2012)—this case involved a teenaged student with a specific learning disability. After a CSE meeting was convened and the contents of the student’s IEP were discussed, it was recommended the student be placed in a 12:1:1 at a community school. The parent, who was concerned about the composition of the proposed classroom, unilaterally placed the student back at an independent private school. The parent argued that state regulations were violated because the age range was more than 36 months between oldest and youngest, and the classroom contained emotionally disturbed students. However, the court agreed with the SRO and determined that failure to adhere to the age range requirements of state regulations is not always fatal, especially where the student’s academic functioning levels in reading and math fell within the range of the other students, (and she fell in the middle of the age range). Also, noting that the relevant inquiry is whether the student was likely to progress, not regress, in the placement classroom, the court found the district had offered FAPE to the student and denied the parents’ request for reimbursement for the unilateral placement.

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