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WILEY HOUSE v. ROBERT G. SCANLON (07/21/81)

decided: July 21, 1981.

WILEY HOUSE, PETITIONER
v.
ROBERT G. SCANLON, SECRETARY OF EDUCATION, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Secretary of Education in the case of Wiley House v. Department of Education, No. S.C.O. 78-1.

COUNSEL

John D. Killian, Killian & Gephart, for petitioner.

John A. Alzamora, Assistant Attorney General, for respondent.

Judges Mencer, Craig and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.

Author: Mencer

[ 61 Pa. Commw. Page 9]

Wiley House has appealed from an order of the Secretary of Education (Secretary) which denied its application for status as an approved private school for socially and emotionally disturbed children. We affirm.

On April 6, 1977, Wiley House filed an application with the Department of Education (Department) seeking approval as a day special-education school and requesting state tuition reimbursement. The Department sent a three-member evaluation team to Wiley House on June 14, 1978, which determined that Wiley House did not meet the criteria necessary for status as an approved private school. The Secretary issued a notice directing Wiley House to show cause why approval of its application should not be denied. Wiley House requested, in its answer to the show-cause notice, a hearing which was then held before a hearing examiner during January and February 1979. The hearing examiner issued a report to the Secretary recommending that the application be denied on the grounds that (1) Wiley House does not maintain an educational institution which complies with the Department's regulatory standards and (2) Wiley House has not demonstrated a legitimate need for its program as required by the Department's regulations. On May 15, 1980, the Secretary adopted the hearing examiner's report and dismissed the application of Wiley House.

In support of his conclusion that Wiley House had not complied with the Department's standards for an approved private school, the Secretary adopted, inter alia, the following findings of fact made by the hearing examiner:

13. The student interns used in the Wiley House classrooms do not provide full-time supportive assistance to the classroom teachers as contemplated by the Special Education Standards.

[ 61 Pa. Commw. Page 10]

. . . .

23. Wiley House lacks an immediately available supervisor or other competent and trained person to handle a student in a period of crisis and to remove that student, if necessary, from the classroom.

25. Wiley House's behavior management systems do not work effectively to permit its classroom teachers to control classroom conduct adequately and to prevent pupil ...


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