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(11.12) If a student did not receive appropriate services for some period of time before she graduated with a diploma, can she continue to be eligible for special education?

(11.12) If a student did not receive appropriate services for some period of time before she graduated with a diploma, can she continue to be eligible for special education?

No.  However, a student who was denied appropriate services can ask, either informally or through a due process hearing, that a school district provide compensatory transition services.  See Chapter 6, Information on Due Process/Compliance Procedures.  Compensatory services provided by the school district voluntarily or because of a due process hearing officer’s order may be provided after a student has graduated with a regular diploma.  [Maine School Admin. Dist. No. 35 v. Mr. and Mrs. R. (1st Cir. 2003) 321 F.3d 9, 17-18; San Dieguito Union High Sch. Dist. v. Guray-Jacobs (S.D. Cal. 2005, No. 04CVL330) 44 IDELR 189, 105 LRP 56315; Hemet USD, OAH Case No. 2015090860, 116 LRP 20083 (2015).]  In this situation, the student is not eligible for special education for any purpose other than receiving those compensatory services. Once the compensatory services are provided, the student’s eligibility ends.

Claims for past denials of appropriate services cannot be more than two years old at the time a parent or student requests a due process hearing.  [34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.507(a)(2); Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56505(l).]  If a student has not been provided appropriate special education services in the two-year period prior to graduation, the parent (or student if 18 years of age and not conserved) should, if at all possible, file for due process before the student graduates with a diploma and his special education eligibility ends. A school district might argue that a parent of or a student who is no longer an eligible special education student does not have standing to bring a special education due process action against the district.