Virginia mother fighting for special needs child’s education granted new trial

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FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The mother of a special needs child who’s been fighting Fairfax County Public Schools for her son’s education will get a new trial.

This is an update to an 8News investigation that first aired in December that was part of series where 8News uncovered special education disputes in Virginia public schools are on the rise.   

8News found school districts some right here in Central Virginia spending thousands of taxpayer dollars battling parents in court.

In the latest development, the judge found this family’s case so egregious, a new trial was ordered.
The mother in the case, Katy Ledoyan, filed a due process complaint arguing Fairfax schools couldn’t provide a fair and appropriate education for her son who has medical issues as well as special needs.

Doctors and his IEP — an individual education plan — determined public school was not for him and called for a smaller private school setting. Still, as the school district battled the parents. 

Ledoyan’s son sat at home without schooling for 8 months as the family waited for a ruling. Yet it’s mandated that a hearing officer in the due process cases render a ruling within 45 days.

Ledoyan said it was ‘awful’ and her son lost out on a lot of education.

“My life had been turned upside down and my child’s life was ruined,” she said.

The hearing officer eventually ruled in favor of the school district. Ledoyan filed a federal appealed asking for an administrative review, and that’s how the order for a new trial came about.

The court papers do offer the opportunity for some sort of resolution. A final pre-trial conference is set for August.

A spokesman for Fairfax Schools tells us due to privacy restrictions they are prevented from commenting.

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