A plaintiff prevailed in a very important special education case regarding tuition reimbursement and compensatory damages in Pennsylvania. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania reversed a decision by a Pennsylvania Special Education Hearing Officer. The Federal District Court ruled in L.G. v. West Chester Area School District, that the plaintiff was denied a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) and the student was entitled to a full tuition reimbursement for a private school as opposed to the earlier ruling for limited tuition reimbursement.
The case utilized both Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and IDEA as arguments for cause in arguments. For the 504 argument, which covers “any disability which substantially impacts learning or other major life activities”, the plaintiff, represented by McAndrews Law Firm, argued the school district did not provide appropriate Child Find in identifying a student with disabilities. Despite behavior interventions and attendance issues, the school did not perform their obligatory responsibility as required by IDEA as well. As well, the child did not receive an IEP while in the 2nd and 3rd grade at the school district.
This case won a good deal of victories for special education advocacy. It established FAPE, Child Find duties, and tuition reimbursement as clear avenues for special needs parents to advocate for their children, not only in Pennsylvania, but nation-wide.