IDEA Complaint Decision 07-047

On June 12, 2007, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Portage Community School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, during the 2006-2007 school year, properly responded, consistent with the requirements of 34 CFR §§300.618-300.620, to parent requests beginning in August 2006 to amend information in a child’s records which the parents believe is inaccurate or misleading.

If a parent believes information in pupil records is inaccurate, misleading or violates the privacy or other rights of the child, the parent may request the school district to amend the information. If the district decides not to amend the information, it must inform the parent of the refusal, and advise the parent of the right to a hearing to review the district’s decision.

If, as a result of the hearing, the district decides the information is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of the child, it must amend the information accordingly and inform the parent in writing. If the district decides the information is not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of the child, it must inform the parent of the right to place in the records a statement commenting on the information or stating the reasons for disagreeing with the district’s decision. The parent’s statement must be maintained by the district as part of the child’s pupil records as long as the contested information is maintained by the district.

The parents allege their child’s IEP and related documents dated after July 2006 included omissions, misrepresentations, and inaccurate statements. On November 9 2006, and December 11 and 16, 2006, the parents sent emails to the district special education director indicating their request for the district to make changes to statements in their child’s current IEP and related documents. On December 22, the district responded via email and addressed each of the nine parent requests. In some of the records, the requested changes were made and in others changes were not made. On January 9, 2007, the district sent the parents A Notice of Response to an Activity Requested by a Parent, which included a response to each of the previous nine parent requests and a notice of the parents’ procedural safeguards under special education law. On February 20, 2007, the parents sent an email to the district requesting six new parent statements and the nine previous requests to be attached to all of their child’s future IEPs. On February 27, the special education director responded to the parents’ February 20 email request. Specifically, the director addressed each of the six parent statements and provided the parents with a copy of the policy procedures entitled Challenges to Contents of Record including an explanation of how to make a request for a hearing. The parents did not request a hearing in writing or verbally. The department concludes the district followed the appropriate procedures when addressing the requests of a parent to amend a child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) and related documents after July 2006.

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

//signed CST 8/13/07
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy

Dec/svb

For questions about this information, contact Patricia Williams (608) 267-3720