The Philadelphia Project


Law Center Concerned about ESY

E.W. is a little boy with substantial problems in reading and writing. His parent asked that he have reading help this summer. The District delayed and proposed an insufficient program not based on E.W.’s needs but based on its “one-size-fits-all” program for Extended School Year (ESY).

ESY is a part of the federal special education law. Basically, it provides that if a student with disabilities will lose ground or needs specific help during the time school is not usually in session, then the child is provided an individually determined program of services. Such services can take place after school, during winter or spring breaks, or in the summer.

The SDP has explicitly limited all ESY to a limited period of weeks in the summer, a limited number of days (3) and a limited number of hours (4). This is inconsistent with the federal law that says that districts cannot limit the “type, amount or duration” of such services.

With the assistance of Ben Hinerfeld, a pro bono lawyer helping the Law Center and Jason Fortenberry, the Law Center brought an administrative hearing on E.W.’s behalf. The hearing officer found that E.W. was without the appropriate services and ordered a remedy for same.

Read the decision here.