A federal district court in Kentucky has ruled that a school district that provided a disabled student with a free appropriate public education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act was nonetheless responsible for reimbursing the parents for tuition at the private school where the parents had unilaterally placed the student.  The court found that the private school was the proper “stay put” placement under IDEA, and that the district was therefore liable for tuition reimbursement.

Facts/Issues: At the time N.W. was three, he was enrolled in the Boone County Schools (BCS) in Kentucky.   BCS determined that N.W. was eligible for special education services under the IDEA, and placed him at St. Rita School for the Deaf in Ohio.  In June 2010, when N.W. was 6, his parents unilaterally enrolled him in Applied Behavioral Sciences (ABS) school, also in Ohio.  BCS convened an Admissions and Release Committee (ARC) meeting on October 21, 2010 to discuss N.W.’s placement options.  Although the parents planned to transition N.W. back to public school, they believed ABS was the best placement at the time.

The parties agreed to a mediated settlement involving tuition, transportation, and attorneys fees’ reimbursement and N.W.’s transition back to the district.  The parties agreed to hold an ARC meeting on or before April 15, 2011 to discuss N.W.’s transition back to public school and that a board certified behavioral analyst would lead the transition team.

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Source: Legal Clips Newsletter