IDEA Complaint Decision 03-036

On August 29, 2003, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS). This is the department's decision regarding that complaint. The issues are whether the district:

  • Implemented the child's individualized education program (IEP) developed in June 2003;
  • Properly determined the child's placement in June 2003 and for the 2003-2004 school year;
  • Properly responded to a parent's request for an IEP team meeting to determine the child's placement for the 2003-2004 school year; and
  • Properly responded to the parent's request to review the child's attendance records.

On June 5, 2003, the district held an IEP team meeting to review and revise the child's IEP and conduct a manifestation determination. The district acknowledges that placement was not properly determined in June 2003. In addition the district acknowledges that the child's IEP was not implemented during a portion of the 2002-2003 school year resulting in a lapse of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) for the student. The district agrees to hold an IEP team meeting to determine whether the student is entitled to additional services due to this lapse in service.

During summer 2003, the child's mother requested at central office through the MPS Summer Enrollment that her son be enrolled at Malcolm X Academy for the 2003-2004 school year. On August 27, 2003, the child's mother requested in writing an IEP team meeting to determine her son's placement for the 2003-2004 school year. September 2, 2003, was the first day of school for students and the child began attending Malcolm X Academy that day. On September 8, the Malcolm X Academy Administrator for Special Education reviewed the child's IEP, determined the child's IEP could be implemented at Malcolm X Academy, and provided the child's mother a notice of placement. The projected date of implementation was September 8, 2003. Because this placement is consistent with proper procedures no corrective action is required regarding the determination of placement.

On September 22, 2003, an IEP team meeting was held to review and revise the child's IEP and determine continuing placement. The child's mother attended the meeting. This IEP meeting was held within a reasonable time after the parent's August 27 request for an IEP meeting and the beginning of school. No corrective action is required regarding the district's response to the parent's request for an IEP team meeting to determine placement. However, because the IEP team did not determine whether the student is entitled to additional services due to lapse in service during the 2002-2003 school year, the district must hold an IEP team meeting by November 25, 2003, to make this determination. The district also must send the department a copy of the child's IEP with documentation of the team's decision by December 5, 2003. The district is in the process of implementing procedures to ensure that placements are determined properly and IEPs implemented for all children with disabilities. Department staff will continue to work closely with the district to assist with review, revision, and implementation of the placement and IEP consolidated corrective action plans.

The child's parent does not recall requesting to review her child's attendance records and currently is not requesting to review these records. The complainant maintains that his complaint was that the MPS 2002-2003 attendance record for this student is so incomplete that the record reflects the district's failure to comply with the non-attendance consolidated corrective action plan. There is no evidence that the child's record is incomplete or that the district did not take steps consistent with the MPS truancy procedures.

This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed 10/28/03
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