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APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MAINE [Hon. Gene Carter, U.S. District Judge]

This appeal is brought by Mrs. B., the mother of a troubled boy, DC, whom she placed in a private residential school in 1998 after rejecting the public school’s proposed Individualized Education Plan. That IEP instead proposed mainstreaming the child into the local school for the 1998-99 school year. A hearing officer found the proposed IEP from the Rome School Committee for that year as well as the IEP proposed for the 1999-2000 school year to be inadequate under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. �� 1400-1491, and ordered Rome to reimburse Mrs. B. for the private school placement for those two years.

In the school system’s suit challenging the hearing officer’s determination, the district court concluded, as had the reviewing magistrate judge, that the hearing officer was wrong on the substance — that the IEPs were adequate. Nonetheless, the district court, following precedent that a parent may rely on the hearing officer’s determination, held that Mrs. B. did not have to reimburse Rome for payments it had made for the tuition and related expenses in those two years. See Town of Burlington v. Dep’t of Educ., 736 F.2d 773, 800-01 (1st Cir. 1984) (“Burlington II”), aff’d, 471 U.S. 359 (1985). This holding was independent of the holding on the adequacy of the IEPs.

 
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