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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Is the SRO additional services doctrine dead?

P. v. Newington, 2nd Cir., decided October 9, 2008.

For a number of years, the New York SRO has distinguished between compensatory education services and additional services. Hopefully, this 2nd circuit decision will put an end to this rather silly distinction.
The Court reasoned that

The IDEA allows a hearing officer to fashion an appropriate remedy, and we have held compensatory education is an available option under the Act to make up for denial of a free and appropriate public education. Mrs. C. v.Wheaton, 916 F.2d 69, 75-76 (2d Cir. 1990); see also Reid v. District of Columbia, 401 F.3d 516, 518 (D.C. Cir. 2005). The remedy’s mandates in this case – that an inclusion consultant be retained for a year, requiring the school to keep Dr. Majure on for at least that long,and completion of an FBA – appropriately addressed the problems with the IEP, especially when considered in light of the fact that P. is now included in at least 80% of regular-classroom activities, in part due to Dr. Majure’s recommendations. See Parents of Student W. v. PuyallupSch. Dist., 31 F.3d 1489, 1497 (9th Cir. 1994) (“Appropriate relief is relief designed to ensure that the student is appropriately educated within the meaning of the IDEA.”). We therefore see no infirmity in the hearing officer’s chosen remedy.

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