On December 11, 2001, a special education complaint was filed with the Department of Public Instruction by XXXXX against the Milwaukee Public Schools. A copy of the letter is enclosed. The Department of Public Instruction must issue a decision on such complaints within 60 days. The issue is whether the district, on December 7, 2001, failed to provide the parent advocate of a child with a disability, upon request, access to a childs educational records prior to an individualized education program (IEP) team meeting. This is the departments decision for that complaint.
On December 7, 2001, a parent advocate asked to review the education records of a child before an individualized education program (IEP) team meeting for the child. The parent advocate had a release of records form signed by the parent, giving the district permission to disclose all material about the child. The parent advocate was not allowed to review the childs education records before the IEP team meeting. The IEP team meeting held on December 7 was adjourned and reconvened on December 13, 2001, to finish revising the childs IEP. On December 11, 2001, the parent advocate was informed by district administration on the telephone that he would be allowed to inspect and review the childs records. On December 12, the parent advocate returned to the elementary school and was allowed to review the childs records. On December 13, the IEP team completed writing the childs IEP. The district acknowledges now that a representative of a parent has the right to inspect and review education records of a child providing the representative has a release of information signed by the childs parent. The district will follow records access requirements by providing parents and their advocates with access to childrens education records without unnecessary delay and before any meeting regarding an IEP, or hearing, and in no case more than 45 days after the request has been made.
This concludes our investigation of this complaint, which we are closing.
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy