IDEA Complaint Decision 02-027

On April 19, 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 March 8, 2002, request for an independent educational evaluation (IEE) for her child. This is the department's decision for that complaint.

On February 19 and 28, 2002, an individualized education program (IEP) team meeting was held to determine a child's continuing eligibility for special education, develop an annual IEP, determine continuing placement, and review the functional behavioral assessment (FBA) and behavioral intervention plan (BIP). The child's parents were present at the IEP team meeting. On February 28, the parents were provided a determination and notice of placement with the evaluation report and IEP. On or about March 8, the child's mother gave the district a written request for an IEE for her son. On March 12, the parent's request for an IEE was forwarded to a district special education supervisor. On March 13, the parent's request for an IEE was forwarded to the district office of Equitable Educational Opportunities for Students with Disabilities. In a May 3 letter to the department the district acknowledges that it has not responded to the parent's request for an IEE in a timely manner.

The district is directed to immediately provide the child's parents information about where to obtain an IEE and of the district's IEE criteria. A copy of the information sent to the child's parents also must be sent to the department by May 24, 2002. The district also is directed to respond, without further delay, to the parent's request for an IEE either by initiating a hearing to show its evaluation is appropriate or by ensuring that an IEE is provided at public expense. The district is directed to notify the department of the action it takes in complying with this directive by May 24, 2002. In the decision for complaint # 02-019, the district was directed to revise the district's 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. The district is further directed to revise its IEE policy to ensure that the district responds without unnecessary delay to a parent's request for an IEE either by initiating a hearing to show its evaluation is appropriate or by ensuring that an IEE is provided at public expense. 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, leadership specialists, and any other appropriate staff. 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.

This concludes our investigation of this complaint.

//signed 5/15/02
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