WHT Law

Case Summary – J.I. v. Chicago Public Schools

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Case Summary for J.I. v Chicago Public Schools:

Jarron Draper Applied in Illinois

A recent Illinois administrative hearing decision, J.I. v Chicago Public School District No. 299 , illustrates that WTH was successfully able to apply both the spirit and legal foundation of the 11th Circuit decision, Draper v Atlanta Public School System (480 F.Supp.2d 1331) to one of our cases against Chicago Public Schools. As you may be aware, the Draper case, out of Atlanta, Georgia, has received considerable media attention for its substantial compensatory education award in the amount of four years of private special education, or until graduation for a student with an undiagnosed learning disability.

On April 17, 2008, WTH received a favorable decision in its case against the school district, prevailing on all of its claims. Similar to the Draper case, our client had been suffering through four years of inadequate education. Although the school district properly identified that our client had a learning disability, the educational interventions were not reasonably calculated to provide educational benefit. WTH proved at hearing that the school district failed to establish that it properly identified the nature and severity of our client’s disability and therefore failed to develop adequate IEPs. We were also able to show that the school district misinterpreted its own data and test scores, resulting in a profound misunderstanding of our client’s abilities.

We were able to secure for our client three years of private schooling, including ESY, reimbursement for private multi-sensory tutoring that was provided by the parent while at the district, reimbursement for private testing, and reimbursement for an expert who conducted an independent analysis of the school district’s data and test scores. Our client is now receiving an education at the University of Chicago’s Hyde Park Day School, which provides a strong multi-sensory approach across all subject areas. We are pleased to report that the first year has been successful and the client is finally learning to read.