TCTA | Parents claim district failed to provide free, appropriateā€¦
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Parents claim district failed to provide free, appropriate education

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Parents filed a due process complaint against their child's school district, alleging that the district failed to provide a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to their child as required by federal law. The hearing examiner assigned to consider the case by TEA determined that the district had properly provided a FAPE. The parents appealed that decision to district court, which upheld TEA's decision. The parents then appealed that decision to the Court of Appeals.

The Court of Appeals reviewed the facts of the case, which showed that the district convened an ARD committee to develop an IEP for the student and set goals for him when he enrolled. A couple of months later, the student's private therapy provider began to suspect that the student had dyslexia. The following month, the ARD committee met to review and revise the student's program. At that ARD meeting, the parents raised concerns about the student's lack of progress and requested that he be tested for dyslexia. The screening process began approximately two months later and by the end of the school year, testing was completed. The assessment recommended that the student be considered for general education dyslexia services.

The district later disqualified the student from summer school because his grades were too high. The parents paid $7,451 for their child to receive academic tutoring over the summer. They requested that the student receive an evaluation in all areas of suspected disability and need. The district granted the request but did not complete the evaluation until December.

When school began, the student's reading teacher agreed to allow him to participate in her general education dyslexia class even though the ARD committee had not reconvened. The ARD committee met the next month and determined that the student should receive general education dyslexia services. In December of that year, the evaluator concluded that the student had a Specific Learning Disability in reading, reading comprehension, reading fluency and written comprehension.

Following a hearing, the hearing examiner ordered that even though the district had shown that the child received a FAPE, and that there was no data supporting eligibility for extended school year services, the district should create a summer plan to address the student's deficiencies. The district did so and the student attended the district's summer reading camp, received daily dyslexia services and worked on other goals. Two months into the following school year, the student moved out of state.

Under the above facts, the Court of Appeals concluded that the district had complied with its requirements under federal law to provide the student with a FAPE.