A recent due process hearing in Delaware, filed by the parents of a child with a mood disorder, gave an example of the first thing parents should not do with special education. The due process hearing was against the Cape Henlopen School District. The parents claimed the district did not fulfill their obligation under IDEA with manifestation determination. The case also showed a glaring flaw with special education law in the Delaware code, one I hope a legislator picks up on in the 149th General Assembly beginning in January. Or if a very brave soul with a great deal of tenacity picks up the baton and literally runs for their life during the last two days of the 148th General Assembly and miraculously gets a law like this passed in the next two days, that would be a true miracle. What did the parents do that ultimately caused a dismissal of the case? Continue reading
Campus Community School, a Delaware charter school, recently lost two special education due process hearings. These were the first due process hearings in Delaware since 2013, and the first time parents won cases in Delaware since 2011. In both cases, the school was ordered to pay substantial compensatory damages. Both cases were represented by McAndrews Law Firm, P.C. In an article the law firm put out today, attorney Lauren O’Connell-Mahler wrote:
The school was further ordered to review and revise the child’s IEP to address absences due to illness, and to provide remedial education to its staff regarding their obligations to identify all children with disabilities. The panel found that the school’s record-keeping was inadequate, and determined that the Delaware Department of Education should conduct oversight of the school’s record-keeping until meaningful improvements were in place. Finally, the school was ordered to provide additional information to parents of children with disabilities concerning the educational rights of children so that those rights could be preserved and protected.
Both of the cases are below. Campus Community received their charter renewal from the Delaware State Board of Education in December of 2015. Neither of these cases came up at all during any of the formal proceedings for the charter school. The school did have a comprehensive review of their special education in May of 2014. This was something their board requested according to board minutes around that time. The report was included as part of the record for their charter renewal.
Due Process Hearing 16-01
Due Process Hearing 16-05