IDEA Complaint Decision 02-019

On March 12, 2002, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS). The issue in this complaint is whether the district failed to respond in a timely manner to a parent's request for an independent educational evaluation (IEE) for her child. This is the department's decision for that complaint.

On February 12, 2002, a district individualized education program (IEP) team determined the child no longer has a disability. The child's mother was present at the IEP team meeting. On February 12, the parent was provided a notice of IEP team findings that the child is no longer a child with a disability. On February 19, the child's mother gave the district a written request for an independent educational evaluation (IEE) for her son. On February 28, the child's mother requested a due process hearing. On March 8, during a pre-hearing conference telephone call with the administrative law judge, the district agreed to grant the parent's request for an IEE. On March 11, the district provided the parent the district's IEE policy and the names of three psychologists available to conduct the IEE. On March 28 in response to a phone request from the mother the district provided two additional psychologist's names.

Each public agency must provide to parents, upon request for an IEE, information about where an IEE may be obtained and the agency criteria applicable for IEEs. The district received the request for an IEE on February 19, but did not provide this information to the parent until March 11, 2002. The district's IEE policy, provided to the child's mother on March 11, states that the district will provide a list of names and the IEE policy within 30 days of receipt of a written or verbal request from a parent for an IEE. The district is directed to revise this IEE policy to ensure that upon request for an IEE the district informs parents about where to obtain an IEE and of the district's IEE criteria. By June 1, 2002, the district must submit its revised policy to the department for approval. By September 1, 2002, the district must distribute the revised and approved IEE policy to all special education staff, principals, assistant principals and leadership specialists. By October 1, 2002, the district must submit to the department a written distribution list by staff title and written assurance that the list includes all special education staff, principals, assistant principals, and leadership specialists. The department is not authorized to reach a decision regarding issues pending before an administrative law judge in a due process hearing.

This concludes our investigation of this complaint.

//signed 5/6/02
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