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Friday, February 27, 2009

SRO considers whether claims are properly raised

SRO 08-086: The general rule is that parents are bound by the content of their hearing request. To add claims, the parents must amend the hearing request. Here, the Parents fail to raise certain claims in the hearing request. Parents raise claims at the hearing without objection by the district. On appeal, District objects to any issue that was not raised in the hearing request. SRO Paul Kelly has addressed this in a number of cases(see e.g.08-052, 08-064) and has ruled consistently that if the parent fails to raise an issue in the hearing request, but raises it at hearing without objection by the district, the parent has effectively raised the issue and it will be considered on appeal.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Parent who declines initial provision of services has right to hearing

SRO 08-094: Parent referred child to CSE for initial evaluation during his 1st grade year. Parent objected to the CSE’s recommendations, declined services and requested a hearing to challenge the adequacy of the district’s recommendations. District argued that by declining the initial provision of services, the district was relieved of the obligation to provide a FAPE and thus, the parent had no right to challenge the adequacy of the CSE recommendations. SRO Paul Kelly disagreed reasoning that
the district's failure to produce any evidence to demonstrate that it made "reasonable efforts" to obtain the informed consent of the parent, and the absence of a claim that the district failed to implement the student's IEP or the recommended services, I am not persuaded that the parent's lack of consent bars the instant challenge regarding
the appropriateness of the recommended SETSS services in the student's 2008-09 IEP.
Kelly also noted that the parent had not actually refused to consent to the provision of services, but rather that the parent had disagreed with the particulars of the CSE’s recommendations.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Parent can record CSE meeting but not resolution session

SRO 08-090: SRO Paul Kelly noted that parents have the right to record a CSE meeting, but that “it was not improper for the CSE to refuse to permit the parent to record the resolution sessions.” One might ask, why can a parent record the CSE meeting and not a res session. Kelly does not provide a satisfactory answer.