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Parent of Autistic Child and School District Reach Agreement through Mediation

Friday, April 29, 2016

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It seems the Jacksonville School District 177 is nearing a resolution with the parents of an autistic child concerning the education plan for that child. Nearly a year ago the district filed an amended motion with the US District Court in Springfield in an effort to recover more than $10,000 in reimbursement for homeschooling costs. The child had been homeschooled since 2014 when the child’s parents voluntarily pulled him from public school


The argument of District 177 was that the hearing officer had made a mistake and applied the wrong legal standard in last July’s decision that resulted in the $10,000 of relief and that the hearing officer did not properly rule that the district followed procedural requirements set by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act for Individual Education Plans created in 2013 and 2014.


The hearing officer ruled the school district acted inappropriately which lead to the student’s escalated behaviors. According to the most recent court activity, the student’s parents and the district’s IEP team used constructive dialogue in their February meeting and the team decided to continue in-home Applied Behavior Analysis on an interim basis.


The school had been ordered in December to pay for monthly applied behavior analysis therapy for at least six months at a cost of approximately $13,000 per month. The team was supposed to assess how to transition the student to a formal education setting.


The parties reached a mediation agreement and can proceed to private mediation later in April and the court proceedings will be on hold until it is determined if an agreement can be reached.

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