Education - IEP - Free Appropriate Public Education.


Byline: R.I. Lawyers Weekly Staff

Where the parents of a child with cerebral palsy and autism sought review of a hearing officer's decision that their child's 10th grade Individual Education Plan (IEP) afforded her access to a Free Appropriate Public Education, and therefore she was not entitled to compensatory services, it was ruled that the hearing officer properly assessed the IEP.

"Before the Court is Magistrate Lincoln D. Almond's Report and Recommendation ('R. & R.') ... , which recommends that Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment ('Pl.'s MSJ') ... be denied and that Defendants' Cross Motion for Summary Judgment ('Defs.' MSJ') ... be granted.

"After careful review of the R. & R. and the relevant papers, the Court accepts the R. & R. over Plaintiffs' objections.

"N.S. is a bright, hardworking graduate of Burriville High School who has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and autism.

"Both of her diagnoses constitute disabilities which adversely affect her ability to learn, as contemplated in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. 1400, et seq., ('IDEA').

"After considering all of the evidence and submissions of the parties, the hearing officer issued a written decision concluding that N.S.'s tenth-grade IEP 'which [did] not include [a] math goal, math objectives, or specialized instruction in math, [did] afford her access to a Free Appropriate Public Education' and that N.S. 'is not entitled to compensatory services.'

"Dissatisfied with this outcome, N.S.'s parents filed a Complaint in this Court seeking review of the hearing officer's decision based on the allegation that it was 'contrary to the preponderance of the evidence and to applicable federal and state statutes and precedents.'

"According to Plaintiffs, 'the only issue in dispute is whether [N.S.] is entitled to any special education services in math, and, if she is, what services are required.'

"After careful review of the hearing officer's decision and the administrative record, the Court finds that substantial evidence...

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