On July 9, 2018, the Bureau of Special Education Appeals ("BSEA") ruled that the Andover Public Schools ("Andover") had violated the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ("IDEA") by failing to offer a nine-year-old boy with dyslexia an Individualized Education Plan ("IEP") that provided a Free Appropriate Public Education ("FAPE"). The BSEA ordered Andover to reimburse the family for their costs of unilaterally placing their son at the Landmark School and found that the student continued to require intensive, specialized instruction in a fully-subseparate language-based program.
This victory is rare for many reasons. First, more than 90% of parties that request a hearing at the BSEA ultimately settle and do not go to hearing. (Read more about quiet victories here). Second, if the case does go to hearing, parents only prevail in about 20% of the cases. (Read more about other dispute resolutions mechanisms here). Third, because of the legal mandate to keep students in the least restrict environment ("LRE") hearing officers are incredibly reluctant to order this type of placement, especially when the student is in the early elementary years.
You can read the entire decision here. If you believe your child's educational rights are being violated, contact an attorney with experience litigating cases at the BSEA. You can learn more about BSEA hearings here.
If you are interested in working with lawyers with experience at the BSEA, contact Wong & Boscarine, LLC today.