Funding for Private Education of Learning Disabled Child
O’Melveny worked with Advocates for Children, an organization dedicated to securing quality and equal public education services for all children, to represent a 14-year-old learning disabled child and her mother in connection with an action against the Department of Education (DOE).
Although bright and hardworking, O’Melveny’s client functioned well below her grade level and suffered emotionally due to an unsuitable placement at a mainstreamed public school that failed to provide her with adequate learning support. Despite her mother’s repeated requests for an evaluation and a more appropriate placement, which the DOE was legally obligated to provide, the DOE failed to recommend a suitable alternative. A guidance counselor told the girl’s mother that college was out of the question and that they should start looking into vocational school. To secure the education to which the client was entitled, O’Melveny represented her at an impartial hearing to demand tuition reimbursement for an appropriate placement at a private school that could meet her needs. The O’Melveny team prevailed at the hearing, securing complete tuition reimbursement, transportation, and 640 hours of remedial tutoring. The hearing officer also awarded legal fees, which O’Melveny donated to Advocates for Children. At her new school, this young woman is succeeding academically, making many friends, and participating in multiple sports; and recently, she was inducted into the National Honor Society. Her family is extremely grateful for O’Melveny’s help in obtaining this life-changing judgment.