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Monday, January 4, 2010

SRO rejects reimbursement claim based upon failure to provide related services

SRO 09-119: IHO found for district in reimbursement claim. SRO reversed on prong 1, but held for the district nevertheless, finding that the parent had failed to establish the appropriateness of the private placement. The SRO reasoned that the private placement was not appropriate because it failed to address the child’s need for related services. Notably, the parents had RSAs (related services authorizations) from the district for the provision of related services. The SRO provided no analysis as to why the parent should not be able to supplement the private program through external provision of related services. I have no doubt that the appropriateness of a district program would be assessed by the SRO taking into consideration all components–i.e. services provided by school district personnel and services for which the school has contracted. I see no reason why the appropriateness of a parental placement should be assessed by a more exacting standard.