On March 5, 2004, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Pulaski School District. This is the department's decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, during the 2003-2004 school year, implemented a child's individualized education program (IEP) regarding developing self esteem and regarding support for math instruction.
On December 4, 2003, an IEP team meeting was held to determine continuing eligibility, to review and revise the child's IEP, and to determine continuing placement. The child's parent attended the meeting. The IEP developed at the meeting requires special education math support with the frequency and amount stated as "daily-as needed."
The district maintains that the student receives some math support services provided by the resource room teacher. The district maintains that while this is not a consistent, daily occurrence, it does provide the services to the child that are necessary for the child to continue to experience success in the regular education classroom.
A local educational agency (LEA) meets its obligation to provide a free appropriate public education to a child, in part, by providing special education, related services, and supplementary aids and services in conformity with a proper IEP. The IEP must specify special education and supplementary aids and services that will be provided for the child to advance appropriately toward annual goals and be educated and participate with other children with disabilities and nondisabled children in regular classes, the general curriculum, and in extracurricular and other nonacademic activities. The amount of services to be provided must be stated in the IEP so the level of the agency's commitment of resources will be clear to parents and other IEP team members. The use of "as needed" to describe the amount of service to be provided to a child does not clearly describe the level of commitment of district resources.
During the 2003-2004 school year the parent has raised concerns with the district about how the regular education staff relates to her son. The December 4, 2003, IEP states the parent had concerns about the child's self esteem. The district has responded to the parent's concerns through phone conferences, emails, and meetings with the parent. The student IEP does not include goals or services related to the student's self esteem. The district was not required by the IEP to provide service to the student related to self esteem.
Within thirty days the district must hold an IEP team meeting to address the lack of specificity regarding the amount and frequency of special education services in the child's December 2003 IEP. The district must submit the child's revised IEP to the department by June 4, 2004. The district also must ensure that district staff are aware of the requirements for appropriate IEP statements of the amount of special education to be provided. The district will advise the department of its proposed corrective actions within 30 days of receiving this decision.
This concludes our review of this complaint.
//signed CST 5/4/04
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy