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Special Services Information
2011 Due Process Hearings
The following Due Process Hearing summaries are intended to be a reference guide only, and have no legal authority. If you are interested in learning more about any of the issues described in the summaries, please see the full decisions provided.
Case Title: "parent v. RSU #21
Allegation Categories: Evaluation; FAPE; IEP/IFSP Contents; IEP/IFSP Process; Placement
The IEP developed by the district placed the student, who had challenging behaviors, in a self-contained classroom for students with behavioral issues in a school located in a neighboring town. The parent objected to that placement, and argued that the student could receive FAPE in his local school if the district provided the necessary behavioral supports. The hearing officer concluded that the district should have conducted a functional behavior assessment and developed a positive behavior support plan for the student before deciding that the student required the more restrictive setting.
Hearing # 11.039H
Hearing Title:"Parents v. East Millinocket"
Allegation Categories: IEP/IFSP Contents; IEP/IFSP Process
A student with autism was receiving behavioral health services through United Cerebral Palsy (“UCP”), which was being financed through MaineCare. These services were identified in the student’s IEP. When a change in state funding procedures dictated that UCP receive payment directly from the district, which could then seek reimbursement from MaineCare, the district opted to revise the IEP so that those services would be provided by an employee of the district. The parents objected, contending that the district employee was not qualified. The hearing officer disagreed, finding that the district’s employee was duly qualified and that having the services delivered by a district employee instead of by a contracted provider was in some ways preferable. The hearing officer also found no violation in connection with the district’s use of data from the UCP providers in measuring the student’s progress towards his IEP goals.
Hearing # 11.047H
Hearing Title: "Parents v. RSU #16"
Allegation Categories: Evaluation; FAPE; IEP/IFSP Contents; IEP/IFSP Implementation; IEP/IFSP Process; Placement
The parents of a highly involved student with multiple handicapping conditions: challenged the appropriateness of the student’s IEP and placement; alleged that the student had not received all the related services identified in her IEP; alleged that the district had not conducted adequate evaluations; and raised numerous procedural issues. The hearing officer found that: each of the student’s IEPs in question provided FAPE to the student; the evaluations conducted were sufficient to enable the district to develop adequate and appropriate programming; any shortfalls in delivery of services were insubstantial; and claims of procedural violations were made moot by the fact that the student’s IEPs provided FAPE. The hearing officer also concluded that some of the parents’ arguments were undercut by their refusal to cooperate with the IEP process.
Hearing # 11.084H
Hearing Title:"Parents v. Monhegan Plantation
Allegation Categories: Evaluation; FAPE; IEP/IFSP Implementation; IEP/IFSP Process; Placement
Based upon a private settlement agreement, the student and the student’s mother spent most of the school year on the mainland, away from their island residence and outside of the district, to allow the student to access his educational programming. In addition to tuitioning the student to the mainland school, as part of the settlement agreement, the district also paid a housing stipend to the family. When the student’s educational needs changed, requiring that he be placed in a private day treatment program 20 miles from where the student had been attending school, the district claimed that the student no longer resided in the district and that therefore the district was not obligated to pay the costs associated with that placement. The hearing officer found that the student’s mother moved to the mainland solely to support the student’s education, and did so pursuant to an agreement with the district, and held that the district therefore remained obligated for the student’s educational programming as well as the housing stipend. The hearing officer concluded, on the other hand, that the district was not responsible for the cost of transportation from the student’s mainland home to the private program, as the student’s mother could choose to live in closer proximity to that program.
Hearing # 11.107H & 12.013H
Case Name: "Parents v RSU #51 & RSU#51 v Parents."
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