IDEA Complaint Decision 07-077

On October 29, 2007, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from a student against the district. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district properly provided required special education services to a student with a disability between October 2006 and October 2007.

On October 18, 2006, the student transferred to the district from another state where he had been receiving special education services pursuant to an Individualized Education Program (IEP). The complainant alleges that the district did not provide special education services until January 2007. Upon enrollment, the district referred the student for an initial evaluation. The student was placed within the general education setting during the evaluation process. The student did not receive any special education services between the student’s enrollment date of October 18, 2006, and January 21, 2007, when he was placed in a self-contained special education program.

When a student with a disability transfers local education agencies (LEAs) within the same academic year, enrolls in a new school, and had an IEP in effect in another state, IDEA 2004 requires that the LEA provide the child with a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), which includes providing the child with services comparable to those described in the out-of-state IEP. This must be done in consultation with the parents or adult student and until such time as the LEA conducts an evaluation, if it is determined necessary by the LEA, and develops a new IEP, if appropriate. The district did not properly provide the required special education services to a student with a disability between October 2006 and January 21, 2007.

Within thirty days of the date of this decision, the district will reconvene the IEP team meeting to determine what additional services as needed. In addition, the district will submit a proposed corrective action plan to the department for approval to ensure district personnel understand the legal requirements for students who transfer into the district.

This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed CST 12/14/07
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy

Dec/tg

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