We reached settlement in an individual case related to our Extended School Year Services class action lawsuit.
Jose* is a 14-year-old whose parents were forced to pay out of pocket for speech therapy, occupational therapy, and other services because the School District of Philadelphia failed to tailor an Extended School Year Program to his individual needs.
Students with disabilities are entitled to individualized educational plans. It is vital for students with disabilities to receive services during school breaks in order to continue their education and to avoid regression. Yet, the District developed a one-size-fits-all ESY program that designates four hours a day for 18 days during the 12 week summer break for all students with disabilities. This not only fails to meet the different needs of children with different disabilities, but also fails to comply with state laws that explicitly prohibit such unilateral responses.
We brought a lawsuit on behalf of Jose and his parents and recently reached a settlement agreement that stipulates Jose receive 12 weeks of ESY services with eight hours of tutoring and 10.5 hours of speech services each week.
Jose is not the only child in the School District of Philadelphia affected by this one-size-fits-all program. In October 2014, we filed a class action lawsuit against the School District of Philadelphia for violating federal law by unilaterally assigning uniform ESY services to students with disabilities without making individual determinations.
*Client names changed for privacy.