IDEA Complaint Decision 00-065

On November 21, 2000 (letter dated November 20, 2000), a complaint was filed with the Department of Public Instruction by XXXXX against the Racine Unified School District. This complaint alleges a violation of special education law regarding the implementation of programs for children with disabilities.

Pursuant to 34 CFR 300.660-662 of the regulations implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and 115.762(3)(g) and 115.90(1), Wis. Stats., the Department of Public Instruction investigated this complaint. In investigating a complaint, the department reviews a district's compliance with state and federal requirements. During this investigation, department staff reviewed relevant education records of the child and the district's response to the complaint. Department staff spoke with the complainant and the director of special education.

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ISSUE:

Did the district, during the 2000-2001 school year, fail to provide complainant's child with special education homebound instruction as required by the child's individualized education program (IEP)?

APPLICABLE STATUTES AND RULES:

Section 115.76, Wisconsin Statutes
Definitions.

   

In this subchapter:

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(7) "Free appropriate public education" means special education and related services that are provided at public expense and under public supervision and direction, meet the standards of the department, include an appropriate preschool, elementary or secondary school education and are provided in conformity with an individualized education program.

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Section 115.77, Wisconsin Statutes
Local educational agency duties.

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(1m) A local educational agency shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the division that it does all of the following:

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(b) Makes available a free appropriate public education to children with disabilities as required by this subchapter and applicable state and federal law.

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Section 115.787, Wisconsin Statutes
Individualized education programs.

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(2) REQUIRED COMPONENTS. An individualized education program shall include all of the following:

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(c) A statement of the special education and related services and supplementary aids and services to be provided to the child,

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ADMINISTRATIVE & JUDICIAL INTERPRETATIONS:

34 CFR Part 300, Appendix A, Question 31.

31. Must the public agency ensure that all services specified in a child's IEP are provided?

Yes. The public agency must ensure that all services set forth in the child's IEP are provided, consistent with the child's needs as identified in the IEP.

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FINDINGS OF FACT:

This complaint concerns the education of a medically fragile child whose IEP for the 2000-2001 school year states that the district will provide her with homebound instruction, beginning on October 23, 2000.

In its response to the complaint, the district acknowledged that, despite its efforts to secure a homebound teacher for the child, it was unable to obtain a homebound teacher for the child until the beginning of second semester in January 2001. The child did not receive homebound instruction from October 23, 2000, until early January 2001.

In its response, the district offered to provide compensatory services to the child, if needed, and to post open teaching positions within the district and on the department's website to help avoid delays in filling teaching positions.

CONCLUSION:

A local educational agency (LEA) must provide each child with a disability a free appropriate public education (FAPE). A district meets its obligation to provide FAPE to a child, in part, by providing special education and related services in conformity with a proper IEP.

The district acknowledged in its response that it did not provide homebound instruction to the child, as required by her current IEP, from October 23, 2000, until early January 2001. The complaint is substantiated. The corrective actions suggested by the district in its response are addressed in the directives below.

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DIRECTIVE:

The Racine Unified School District shall, within 30 days of receipt of this report, submit to the department a corrective action plan (CAP) to ensure that the district:

  1. promptly convenes an IEP team meeting as soon as possible for the purpose of determining whether the child needs additional educational services to compensate for the period when homebound instruction was not provided;
  2. provides homebound instruction to all children with disabilities in accordance with the provisions of their IEPs;
  3. notifies all special education, administrative, and human resources staff of new procedures, such as posting teaching vacancies internally and on websites, initiated to prevent delays in filling teaching positions.

The CAP shall include the activities the district will undertake to implement the directives, the personnel responsible for each activity, the date by which each activity will be completed, and the type of documentation that will be submitted to the department as evidence of completion of each activity. If a CAP requires the district to develop one or more products, the district may submit the product(s) as part of the corrective action plan. The CAP will be reviewed and the district will be informed if any revisions are required. The district will implement the CAP after the department has approved it.

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This concludes our investigation of this complaint. This letter is not intended, and should not be construed, to cover any other issues regarding compliance with the IDEA or Chapter 115, Wisconsin Statutes, which may exist and which are not specifically discussed herein. Under the Wisconsin public records law, 19.31-19.39, Wisconsin Statutes, it may be necessary to release this document and related correspondence and records upon request.

signed MJT
1/17/01
_________________________________________
Mike J. Thompson, Assistant Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy

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IDEA COMPLAINT INVESTIGATION
Racine Unified School District
Case No. 00-065

On November 21, 2000, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Racine Unified School District. The department issued a decision regarding that complaint, #00-065, on January 17, 2001. On February 27, 2001, the department approved the district's proposed corrective actions addressing the directives in the complaint decision. The district has failed to submit documentation of those corrective actions to the department, as required.

On June 27, 2001, the department received a letter from XXXXX alleging that the district has failed to carry out corrective actions required by the directives in the above-referenced decision. A copy of the letter is enclosed. Based upon the letter and supporting materials from XXXXX and the district's failure to provide the department with documentation of corrective actions, the department directs the district, within 14 days of the date of this letter, to fully implement the child's IEP and convene an IEP team to determine whether the child requires additional services for any period during which services have not been provided pursuant to the child's IEP.

In addition, upon receipt of this letter, the district must send a copy of the child's current IEP to XXXXX and the department. The department will contact the district within five days of the date of this letter to ensure that these corrective activities are being implemented and to discuss any additional documentation required by the department.

//signed 7/6/01
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy

dec/smp

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