IDEA Complaint Decision 05-036

On July 19, 2005, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Madison Metropolitan School District. This is the department's decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district properly responded to the parents' request on June 19, 2005, to review their child's education records.

On May 13, 2005, the child was referred to the district for special education. On June 13, 2005, the parent made a verbal request to review her child's pupil records. In a follow-up letter dated June 19, 2005, the parent requested the district make arrangements for the parent to review all pupil records related to her child, including directory data, progress records, and behavioral records. The parent also requested to review information related to an injury report and copies of communications about the student from any district staff. On June 23, 2005, the parents were invited to attend an IEP team meeting scheduled for July 1, 2005, to review existing information and determine the need for additional evaluation procedures. The IEP team met briefly on July 1 but did not accomplish the purpose of the meeting. The parent requested the district reschedule the July 1 IEP team meeting to allow the parents opportunity to review their child's pupil records prior to the IEP team meeting. On August 5, 2005, the district provided an opportunity for the parents to review pupil records related to their child. The district also provided copies of all electronic communication regarding their child which included correspondence among district staff in June 2005. After reviewing the records, the parents requested to review additional records.

A school district must permit parents to inspect and review any education records relating to their children that are collected, maintained, or used by the district. A district must comply with a request without unnecessary delay and before any meeting regarding an IEP, and in no case more than 45 days after the request has been made. The district should have provided the student's pupil records prior to the IEP team meeting. The district unnecessarily delayed responding to the parent's request to view her child's pupil records when they did not provide opportunity to review the requested records within 45 days of the request. The district is directed to submit a corrective action plan to the department within 30 days to ensure that the district responds without unnecessary delay and before any meeting regarding an IEP, and in no case more than 45 days after the request has been made.

This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed CST 9/16/05
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy

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