The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. CURTIS JOYNER, Judge
Presently before the Court are the Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment
of Defendant Penn Delco School District ("District") and of Plaintiffs
Gregory R., a minor by and through his parents, and Marion R. and Gregory
R., individually and on their own behalf. In this case, Plaintiffs
brought claims for compensatory education, tuition reimbursement and
monetary damages for the District's failure to provide a "free
appropriate public education" as required by the Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act ("IDEA"), 20 U.S.C.A. §§ 1400 et seq.
Plaintiffs bring this action under IDEA, Section 504 of the
Rehabilitation Act, and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. For the reasons that
follow, the Court will grant Defendant's motion for summary judgment and
deny Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment.
Gregory R. is a child with disabilities under the IDEA. He resides with
his parents in the Penn Delco school district. In 1995-96, Gregory
attended kindergarten and the first half of first grade at a private
school. Delaware County Intermediate Unit ("DCIU") had been providing
Gregory with speech and language therapy since June 1994.
At the parents' request, the District evaluated Gregory and found him
to be eligible for special education services. On November 27, 1996, the
District developed an Individualized Educational Program ("IEP") and a
Notice of Recommended Educational Placement ("NOREP"). The parents
approved the IEP and NOREP and enrolled Gregory for the second half of
first grade in a district school, Aston Elementary.
Dissatisfied with Gregory's progress at Aston Elementary, the parents
unilaterally placed Gregory in Centreville School, an independent special
education day school, at the start of the 1997-98 school year. Gregory
attended Centreville School from second grade (1997-98) through sixth
On October 31, 2000, the parents contacted the District's director of
special education to initiate discussions about middle school. At a
meeting on November 28, 2000, the parents orally requested that District
support Gregory's tuition at the Centreville School. On April 25, 2001,
the parents made a written request for an evaluation for special
education services. Due to inexcusable delay, the District did not
prepare and develop an IEP and NOREP until April 18, 2002. On May 14,
2002, the parents rejected the IEP and requested a due process hearing.
Until this time, the parents had not expressed any dissatisfaction to the
District regarding Gregory's IEP or his education.
At the administrative hearing, the state hearing officer found the
proposed IEP inappropriate and granted tuition reimbursement for the
2001-02 school year and 2001 summer school. The hearing officer,
however, denied relief prior to the 2001 school year. On November 12,
2002, the state Appeals Panel affirmed the hearing officer's
Plaintiffs bring this action claiming that federal law in this Circuit
justifies granting further relief prior to the 2001-02 school year.
Defendant now moves for summary judgment, claiming that there are no
genuine issues of material fact and that it is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law. Plaintiffs also filed a motion for summary judgment.
In deciding a motion for summary judgment under Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c), a
court must determine "whether there is a genuine issue of material fact
and, if not, whether the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter
of law." Medical Protective Co. v. Watkins, 198 F.3d 100, 103 (3d Cir.
1999) (internal citation omitted). When making this determination, courts
should view the facts, and reasonable inferences ...