IDEA Complaint Decision 07-046

On June 8, 2007, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Milwaukee Public Schools. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district properly considered the parent’s concerns for enhancing the education of his child during an individualized education program (IEP) team meeting conducted in June 2007.

On March 26 2007, the district conducted an IEP team meeting to develop the student’s annual IEP, develop a transition statement, and determine continuing placement. The student’s parents did not attend the IEP team meeting. The district properly took steps to ensure that one or both of the parents were present at the IEP team meeting or were offered the opportunity to participate. The parents were mailed a copy of the March 26 IEP.

On June 5, 2007, the district conducted an IEP team meeting, as requested by the student’s parents, to review and revise the student’s IEP, develop a transition statement, and determine continuing placement. Both the student’s mother and father attended the June 5, 2007 IEP team meeting. Interviews conducted with the student’s parents indicate the parents believe their concerns for enhancing the education for their son were not considered because a copy of a completed IEP was placed before them on the table before there were any comments made by the parents. Also, the parents maintain a district staff member of the IEP team commented at the meeting that the parents’ comments do not matter because the team had decided as a group the student did not need the services of a one-on-one assistant at school.

Interviews conducted with district staff indicate that the parent’s concerns for enhancing the education of their child were considered and discussed during the June 5, 2007, IEP team meeting. The district special education supervisor explained it is often district practice to have either a copy of the student’s current IEP, or a draft IEP, at IEP team meetings to guide discussion at the IEP team meeting. This practice is permitted. Furthermore, there is documentation in the IEP that the parents concerns for enhancing the education of their son were considered, including a statement in the IEP describing the concerns of the parents about the student’s learning. "Parents are concerned with (student’s name) behaviors at home and his transition to high school without a 1:1 aide." In addition the district provided a June 6, 2007 notice documenting the refusal to provide the services of a one-to-one assistant in the student’s classroom as requested by the parents.

This concludes our review of this complaint, which we are closing.

//signed CST/SJP 7/10/07
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