IDEA Complaint Decision 01-058

On August 7, 2001, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS). The issues in this complaint are whether the district failed, in July 2001, to provide services consistent with the extended school year (ESY) provisions of a childs individualized education program (IEP) and failed to include on the childs June 7, 2001, IEP team a representative of the local educational agency (LEA) who is knowledgeable about and authorized to commit the available resources of the LEA. This is the departments decision for that complaint.

On June 7, 2001, an IEP team reviewed and revised the IEP for the child. Department staff interviewed the building principal and the assistant principal. The assistant principal who attended the meeting as the representative of the LEA was knowledgeable about available district resources. However, the LEA representative was not authorized to commit the available resources of the LEA. The LEA did not seek authorization to commit available resources or recess the meeting to a later date when an individual authorized to commit available resources could attend. The department conducted a review of this issue during its onsite compliance review of the district in May 2001. The corrective action plan (CAP) resulting from this visit includes staff development activity to ensure that all LEA representatives are knowledgeable about available resources of the LEA and understand the requirement that they must be authorized to commit those resources. These corrective actions will address the findings for this complaint issue.

The June 7 IEP includes the following ESY provisions: special education "Vocational Training"; related services "employment support/training." The frequency is daily, duration July and August and the location is "supporting agency and on the job." "[I]nterpreter when needed" is noted as a supplementary aid and service. The frequency is "as needed when non-signing people communicate." District staff went to the childs home on three days during August to discuss the program and have forms signed. However, the child was not provided the July and August 2001 ESY services as listed in his June 7th IEP. On September 10, 2001, an IEP team reviewed and revised the IEP for the child. The invitation to the IEP team meeting indicated a purpose of the meeting was to determine if additional services are necessary due to the lapse of ESY services. However, the advocate, the assistant principal, the designated vocational instructor, and the special education teacher all stated that the IEP team did not discuss whether additional services were needed to make up for the services not provided in July and August.

The district will conduct an IEP team meeting, at a mutually agreed to time, no later than October 26, 2001, to consider additional services which may be required due to the failure to provide services consistent with the ESY provisions of the childs June 7th IEP. The district will provide the department with documentation of the teams decision. Within 30 days of receipt of this complaint decision, the district will submit to the department a plan to ensure that all children with disabilities in the district are provided the services specified in the childs IEP. This plan will consolidate the corrective action for multiple complaints regarding providing services specified in IEPs including complaints number 99-061, 00-009, 01-032, 01-040, 01-043 and 01-048.

This concludes our investigation of this complaint.

//signed 10/4/01
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy

Dec/jfd

For questions about this information, contact Patricia Williams (608) 267-3720