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Thursday, August 13, 2009

SDNY reverses SRO again

G.R. v. New York City Dept. of Educ., 2009 WL 2432369(S.D.N.Y. Aug 07, 2009): Parent sought reimbursement for private placement at Winston Preparatory School. NYC had conceded on prong one as they had failed to offer the student a placement. The IHO ruled against the parent on prong two finding that there was insufficient proof at that time of R.R.'s progress at WPS and that WPS was not providing speech and language therapy to R.R. She left open the possibility of plaintiff renewing her request for reimbursement once more evidence of R.R.'s progress was available, and therefore denied the application without prejudice. SRO Paul Kelly denied the parent’s appeal and sustained the district’s appeal, holding that it was error to dismiss without prejudice–i.e. the dismissal was final. In a very common sense opinion, the SDNY (Judge Griesa) reversed the SRO finding that there was sufficient proof of the appropriateness of WPS.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

9th Circuit rejects attack on Rowley

J.L. v. Mercer Island, --- F.3d ----, 2009 WL 2393323, C.A.9 (Wash.),2009: This case is the latest unsuccessful parent effort to convince a court that Congress superceded the Rowley standard by amending the IDEA. Of particular note, the Court found that

three omissions suggest that Congress intended to keep Rowley intact. First, Congress did not change the definition of a free appropriate public education in any material respect. If Congress desired to change the free appropriate public education standard, the most logical way to do so would have been to amend the free appropriate public education definition itself. Second, Congress did not indicate in its definition of “transition services,” or elsewhere, that a disabled student could not receive a free appropriate public education absent the attainment of transition goals. Third, Congress did not express disagreement with the “educational benefit” standard or indicate that it sought to supersede Rowley. In fact, Congress did not even mention Rowley.