G.S. v. Rose Tree Media School District, No. 17-2886 (3d Cir. 2019)

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Justia Opinion Summary

In 2010, G.S., his parents, his sisters, and his paternal grandparents moved into a home in Rose Tree School District. The children attended Rose Tree schools. In 2014, G.S.’s parents lost the home. The family moved in with his maternal grandmother, outside the district. G.S. slept in the living room with his parents and sisters. Rose Tree deemed G.S. homeless and continued his enrollment under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(3)(A)(i). G.S. was involved in a disciplinary incident. G.S.'s parents challenged Rose Tree's suspension of G.S. and threats of expulsion. In a settlement Rose Tree agreed to pay for G.S. to attend a school outside of its jurisdiction in 2015–16; G.S.’s parents agreed to waive all claims through August 2016. The agreement purported to waive G.S.’s right to claim homelessness after the 2015–16 academic year. In 2016, G.S.’s parents notified Rose Tree of their intent to re-enroll G.S. for 2016–17. Rose Tree claimed that they had waived that right. The Pennsylvania Department of Education concluded that G.S. had a right to attend Rose Tree. Rose Tree continued to refuse to enroll G.S. but had continually enrolled his sister. The Third Circuit affirmed, in favor of G.S., finding that he satisfied the Act’s definition of homelessness. Continued enrollment in Rose Tree is in G.S.’s best interest. The waiver was unenforceable for lack of consideration; the tuition payment was in exchange for release of claims through August 2016.

This opinion or order relates to an opinion or order originally issued on November 6, 2018.

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UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT No. 17-2886 G.S., a minor, by his parents, J.S. and E.S. v. ROSE TREE MEDIA SCHOOL DISTRICT (E.D. Pa. No. 2-16-cv-04782) ROSE TREE MEDIA SCHOOL DISTRICT v. E.S. and J.S., Parents and Natural Guardians of G.S., a Minor (E.D. Pa. No. 2-16-cv-04849) Rose Tree Media School District, Appellant Present: AMBRO and JORDAN, Circuit Judges Motion by Amici to Convert a Not Precedential Opinion to Precedential. Respectfully, Clerk/nmr _______________________________O R D E R ____________________________ The foregoing Motion by Amici to convert a Not Precedential Opinion to a Precedential Opinion is granted. By the Court, s/Thomas L. Ambro, Circuit Judge Dated: January 22, 2019 The Honorable Thomas I. Vanaskie, who authored the Court’s opinion in this matter, retired from the Court on January 1, 2019 and did not participate in the consideration of the motion.

Primary Holding

Student, sleeping in his grandmother's living room with the rest of his family, met the definition of homelessness in the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act; it was in his best interest to continue to attend his original school.

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