In August of 2007, the parents of a Richland Springs ISD student requested a special education due process hearing on behalf of their child. The Texas Education Agency assigned Hearing Officer Lucius D. Bunton to preside over the matter. A hearing was held on April 28, 2008, and the Hearing Officer issued his decision on June 2, 2008.
Of the parents' three claims, the Hearing Officer determined that there was evidence to substantiate only one of the claims and ordered the school district to provide the student with fifteen 45 - minute sessions of compensatory physical education classes. The Hearing Officer denied all other claims and relief sought by the parents, including denying a demand that an additional water fountain be installed in the gymnasium. The parents may be entitled to a portion of their attorney's fees.
Although the school district prevailed on two of the three issues, the law does not allow the school district to recover any of its legal expenses, which have totaled approximately $13,500 for this matter, plus an additional $6,000 requested by Bunton for his services. Special Education funding cannot be used to cover these legal expenses; they are paid out of the school district's general fund, including local property tax revenue.