United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division
D. C., et al, Plaintiffs,
KLEIN INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
C. HANKS JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
case arises under the Individuals with Disabilities Education
Act (“IDEA”). See 20 U.S.C. § 1400,
et seq. Pending before the Court is the
plaintiffs' motion for a stay-put injunction under 20
U.S.C. § 1415(j) and 34 C.F.R. § 300.518. The
primary issue governing disposition of the motion is whether
the appropriate stay-put placement (referred to in the
statutes and regulations as the “current educational
placement”) includes a dyslexia intervention program
(“DIP”) or other dyslexia services for Plaintiff
reviewed the relevant administrative decision, the pertinent
caselaw, and the parties' well-briefed arguments,
Court concludes that D.C.'s current educational placement
does not include the DIP or any other dyslexia intervention
services. It is true that, when D.C.'s due process
hearing under 20 U.S.C. § 1415(f) was conducted, his
individualized education program (“IEP”) included
placement in the DIP as a student with dyslexia. However, the
due process hearing officer concluded that the evidence did
not support D.C.'s classification as a dyslexic student
and that D.C. derived minimal educational benefit from the
DIP (Dkt. 1-1 at pp. 28-31). Accordingly, the plaintiffs'
stay-put motion (Dkt. 5) is GRANTED to the
extent that it seeks an injunction requiring the defendant,
Klein Independent School District (“KISD” or
“the District”), to implement the specific orders
contained in Section X of the hearing officer's opinion
during the pendency of this lawsuit. The motion is
DENIED to the extent that it requests any
other relief, including an injunction requiring KISD to
implement any dyslexia intervention program.
DYSLEXIA SERVICES ARE NOT PART OF D.C.'S CURRENT
parties agree that, under 34 C.F.R. § 300.518(d), the
hearing officer's decision determines the appropriate
stay-put placement (Dkt. 5 at p. 10; Dkt. 9 at p. 9); and the
Court agrees with the parties' reading of that
regulation. Where the parties diverge is on the question of
whether the hearing officer meant to order the District to
continue D.C.'s placement in the DIP.
hearing officer's decision explicitly sets out the
1. The District shall convene an [Admissions, Review &
Dismissal, or “ARD”] meeting within 30 school
days of the issuance of this decision.
2. At the ARD meeting, the District shall modify [D.C.'s
individualized education program, or “IEP”] in
accordance with the District's [Full and Individual
Evaluation, or “FIE”] to indicate [D.C.] is
eligible for special education as a student with a Specific
Learning Disability in reading comprehension, with specific
weaknesses in comprehension/knowledge, fluid reasoning, long
term memory, and processing speed.
3. The District shall provide [D.C.] in his IEP 45 minutes
per day of reading instruction focused on reading
comprehension and related skills using Read 180 or another
peer-reviewed program on which the District and [D.C.'s]
parents agree. Instruction shall be provided in a one-on-one
setting or in a group of no more than six students at least
four school days per week, with the exception of weeks which
have fewer than four school days. Extended School Year (ESY)
services are neither required nor prohibited by this Order.
This shall remain in effect for one calendar year from the
date on which the ARD Committee meeting is held, unless
[D.C.'s] parents and the District agree to a different
4. The District shall provide [D.C.] an additional 108 hours
of compensatory education in a one-on-one setting focused on
reading comprehension and related skills using Read 180 or
another peer-reviewed program on which the District and
[D.C.'s] parents agree. At the ARD Committee meeting, the
District and [D.C.'s] parents shall agree on a schedule
for providing these compensatory services.
All other requests for relief not specifically stated in
these Orders are hereby DENIED.
Dkt. 1-1 at pp. 39-40.
contend that, because the hearing officer's opinion did
not expressly order the District to discontinue D.C.'s
DIP placement, “the hearing officer was simply
adding services (for reading comprehension), not
deleting or substituting them” (Dkt. 31-1 at p. 3)
(emphasis in original). Plaintiffs go on to argue that,
“[g]iven the lack of any explicit order from the
hearing officer to cease, stop, or end the dyslexia services,
the Court simply cannot rely on the hearing officer's
order to cease the services during the pendency of the
litigation” (Dkt. 31-1 at p. 3). In effect, Plaintiffs
argue that the hearing officer implicitly ordered the
District to continue the dyslexia services by not explicitly
ordering the District to discontinue the dyslexia services.
Court disagrees. Although analogous cases seem to be rare,
generally, in “cases where a court implie[s] a
‘current educational placement' [in the context of
a stay- put motion], the court or agency below ha[s]
expressly deemed the . . . placement [requested in
the stay-put motion] appropriate.” L.M. v.
Capistrano Unified SchoolDistrict, 556 F.3d
900, 903 (9th Cir. 2009) (emphasis added). A close reading of
the hearing officer's opinion in D.C.'s case reveals
that the hearing officer did not expressly deem dyslexia
services appropriate for D.C. Rather, the hearing officer
specifically found that no evaluation data supported
D.C.'s classification as a dyslexic student and that D.C.
derived minimal educational benefit from the DIP.
Particularly compelling is the hearing officer's finding
that the District's plan for D.C. was inadequate
precisely because, at the behest of ...