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Monday, February 9, 2009

Adverse impact upon educational performance entails more than academics

SRO 08-112: In this reimbursement case, SRO Paul Kelly reaffirmed the proposition earlier stated in SRO 07-086 that adverse impact on educational performance entails more than just academic performance.

While consideration of a student's eligibility for special education and related
services should not be limited to a student's academic achievement (34 C.F.R. § 300.101[c]; 8 NYCRR 200.4[c][5]; see Corchado, 86 F. Supp. 2d at 176), evidence of psychological difficulties, considered in isolation, will not itself establish a student's eligibly for classification as a student with an emotional disturbance (N.C., 473 F. Supp. 2d at 546). Moreover, as noted by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs, "the term 'educational performance' as used in the IDEA and its implementing regulations is not limited to academic performance" and whether an impairment adversely affects educational performance "must be determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on the unique needs of a particular child and not based only on discrepancies in age or grade performance in academic subject areas"
(Letter to Clarke, 48 IDELR 77).

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