IDEA Complaint Decision 06-029

On June 9, 2006, the department of public instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS). This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issues are whether the district:

  • Ensured that required special education and related services were provided to a child with a disability between September 2003 and May 24, 2006, after the student transferred from a district elementary school to a district middle school; and
  • Properly responded to a parent’s request for consideration of compensatory services for the child on May 24, 2006.

The district acknowledges it did not ensure that required special education and related services were provided to the child with a disability between September 2, 2003, and May 24, 2006. When the child transferred from a district elementary school to the district middle school, the child had two different student identification numbers which contributed to the child being misidentified as a regular education student. The child was receiving special education services at the elementary school.

On April 28, 2006, a school psychologist met with the child’s parent. On May 24, 2006, an individualized education program (IEP) team meeting was held to determine eligibility, develop an IEP, develop a transition statement, and determine placement. The local education representative at the IEP team meeting explained that the district recognized its failure to provide the student with a free appropriate public education, between September 2, 2003, and May 24, 2006, and the team would consider compensatory services for the child. The IEP team determined that the student would receive special education service a significant portion of the day during the 2006-2007 school year. However, the child’s IEP does not clearly document the team’s decision regarding provision of compensatory services. The district recognizes the need to more specifically document the IEP team's consideration of and determinations regarding compensatory services and will schedule an IEP team meeting before September 15, 2006, for this purpose. By September 30, 2006, the district must send to the department a copy of the student’s IEP clearly documenting the IEP team’s consideration and decision regarding compensatory services. Further, due to the extended period when the student did not receive special education services, the district will ensure that the student’s progress is reviewed by the building special education leadership liaison at each grading period during the 2006-2007 school year and reported to the department in writing within 15 days.

When a school receives a student with a disability, they must ensure that there is no interruption in the student’s special education and related services. The district recognizes this duty and the school is developing on its own initiative a procedure to ensure that students identified as a child with a disability receive required special education and related services when they transfer to the school. Central office administration is currently reviewing the draft procedures. By August 15, 2006, the district must send to the department a copy of the procedures to be implemented at the school for the beginning of the 2006-2007 school year. In addition, the school special education leadership liaison must work with the school’s staff to analyze the school’s implementation of the procedures for determining the special education and related services to be provided to a child with a disability who transfers into the school. They must also develop a plan of activities with a timeline to ensure procedures are completed timely and there is no interruption in students’ special education and related services. By December 1, 2006, the district must send to the department a written report of the analysis, plan of activities and documentation of the effectiveness of the procedures. Further, the district will review the circumstances of this complaint to consider whether measures are required at the district level to ensure that the events in this complaint have not occurred in other schools and will not occur in the future. The district will submit written findings and needed recommended actions to the department by December 1, 2006.

This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed CST 7/31/06
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