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Kroencke v. Russellville School Dist.

December 21, 2005

JOHN KROENCKE AND TANYA KROENCKE PLAINTIFFS
v.
RUSSELLVILLE SCHOOL DISTRICT DEFENDANT



The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. Leon Holmes United States District Judge

OPINION AND ORDER

John and Tanya Kroencke brought this action under 20 U.S.C. § 1415(i)(3)(A) against the Russellville School District to recover attorney's fees and costs incurred in an administrative proceeding brought pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. §§ 1415(b)(6), (f)(1). The Kroenckes have filed for summary judgment (Docket #4) against the Russellville School District. For the following reasons, the Kroenckes' motion for summary judgment is granted and the Kroenckes are awarded $20,000.00 in attorney's fees and costs.

I.

John and Tanya Kroencke are parents of a child, W.K., who was enrolled in the Russellville School District where he received special education services. Due to a dispute that arose between the Kroenckes and the school district, on September 26, 2003, the Kroenckes requested a due process hearing with the Arkansas Department of Education. In their request for a due process hearing, the Kroenckes alleged that the school district committed the following violations of the IDEA and deprived W.K. of a "free appropriate public education":

(a) failing to make a referral for special education testing when [W.K.]'s performance demonstrated the need for special education intervention and services in 1999-2000 school year;

(b) failing to provide an appropriate program and or transitional plan with services from an IFSP (Individualized Family Services Plan) to an IEP (Individualized Education Program) when [W.K.] entered Kindergarten in the 1999-2000 school year and demonstrated a need for continued therapies and services;

(c) failing to provide an appropriate IEP and special education and related services during the 1999-2000, 2000-01, 2001-02, 2002-03, and 2003-04 school years;

(d) failing to evaluate and program for [W.K.]'s specific learning disabilities and speech and language disabilities during the 1999-2000, 2000-01, 2001-02, 2002-03, 2003-04 school years, instead relying on the Parents to provide and pay for evaluations and language therapies necessary for [W.K.] to benefit and advance educationally;

(e) failing to provide Speech therapy and language therapies recommended by professionals, and instead making unilateral decisions regarding speech and language therapies based on the needs and resources of the district and not associated with [W.K.]'s unique needs;

(f) failing to follow due process procedures by: < failing="" to="" consider="" evaluations="" and="" recommendations="" of="" various="" experts="" and="">
< failing="" to="" list="" language="" therapy="" as="" a="" related="" service="" on="" [w.k.]'s="" iep="" when="" the="" district="" agreed="" that="" said="" one-on-one="" services="" were="" appropriate="" and="" necessary="" in="" light="" of="" [w.k.]'s="" dyslexia,="" and="" that="" such="" services="" were="" necessary="" for="" [w.k.]="" to="" benefit="" educationally="" and="" were="" embedded="" into="" [w.k.]'s="" school="">
< failing="" to="" record="" services="" provided="" on="" [w.k.]'s="" iep,="" and,="" in="" particular,="" his="" language="" therapy="" provided="" one="" hour="" daily="" four="" days="" per="" week,="" so="" that="" the="" district="" could="" escape="" monitoring="" violations="" and="" attempt="" to="" avoid="" payment="" of="" said="">
< failing="" to="" provide="" services="" which="" were="" necessary="" for="" [w.k.]="" to="" benefit="" educationally="" free="" of="" charge="" to="" the="">
< failing="" to="" properly="" record="" decisions="" made="" in="" iep="" conferences,="" especially="" those="" relating="" to="" [w.k.]'s="" language="" therapy;="">

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