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R.G. On Behalf of M.G v. Clovis Unified School District

June 9, 2011

R.G. ON BEHALF OF M.G.,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
CLOVIS UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT,
DEFENDANT



ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION Doc. # 14

This is an action for declaratory and injunctive relief and compensatory education and tuition reimbursement by plaintiff R.G. on behalf of M.G. (collectively, Plaintiff) against defendant Clovis Unified School District ("Defendant"). On March 22, 2011, the court issued a memorandum opinion and order (the "March 22 Order") dismissing individual Defendant Mary Bass and otherwise denying Defendants motion to dismiss Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint ("FAC"). In the instant motion, Defendant seeks reconsideration of certain limited portions of the court's March 22 Order. For the reasons that follow, Defendant's motion for reconsideration will be denied.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY AND FACTUAL BACKGROUND

The currently operative FAC was filed by R.G. on behalf of M.G. on January 24, 2011. All claims set forth in Plaintiff's FAC were set forth pursuant to the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act ("IDEA"). The parties agree that M.G. is a person with a learning disability within the meaning of the IDEA. Pursuant to the IDEA, the parties in this action engaged in a yearly reassessment of an Individual Education Plan ("IEP"); a plan that is designed with the input of parents, mental health professionals and involved educators to determine how the school district will provide a Free and Appropriate Public Education ("FAPE") in the Least Restrictive Environment ("LRE") for the student. Plaintiff contends the plan that was developed failed to adequately address M.G.'s needs, failed to provide for an appropriate education of M.G. in the least restrictive environment, and failed to incorporate the independent S/L evaluation (Independent Educational Evaluation or "IEE") that was obtained by Plaintiff at her own expense. Plaintiff declined to sign off on the proposed IEP and requested that M.G. receive an IEE at Defendant's expense.

On January 19, 2010, District submitted a Request for Due Process (OAH Case No. 2010010583). The questions submitted by Defendant for adjudication were:

1. May the District deny [Plaintiff] an independent educational evaluation (IEE) in speech and language because its assessment, presented on November 9, 2009, was conducted in compliance with the law?

2. May the District Deny [Plaintiff] an IEE on reading abilities because its assessments, presented on November 9, 2009, were conducted in compliance with the law?

3. Was the individualized education program (IEP) of November 9 and 16, 2009, for the 2010 extended school year (ESY) and 2010-2011 school year (SY) reasonably calculated to provide [Plaintiff] with meaningful educational progress?

Doc. 24 at 21:15-22 (quoting OH Decision at page 2). The ALJ ruled in Plaintiff's favor with respect to the second question and ruled in District's favor with regard to the first and third questions. This action followed.

As the court noted in its March 22 Order, Plaintiff's FAC somewhat confusingly states only a single "claim" in the section of the FAC denoted as "Claims" -- the claim that Defendant violated the IDEA. However, the court concluded after examination of the section of the FAC titled "Legal Basis for the Appeal" that Plaintiff's FAC alleges two substantive claims, both of which directly challenge the ALJ's prior decision. The first of the claims alleges that Defendants failed to provide M.G. with a FAPE in the LRE. The second of the two claims challenges the ALJ's finding that Defendant the S/L evaluation conducted by Defendant was "appropriate." Based on these two substantive claims, Plaintiff's FAC makes, inter alia, the following prayers for relief:

(2) Tuition reimbursement for any and all monies that R.G. paid to provide M.G. an appropriate education in the least restrictive environment for the 2010-11 school year.

20 U.S.C. § 1415(i)(3)(b).

(3) Compensatory education to compensate M.G. for the denial of an appropriate education in the least restrictive environment for the 2010-11 school year.

(4) [Provide] services to compensate M.G. for direct speech and language services she has missed due to the District's failure to offer ...


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