IDEA Complaint Decision 05-050

On October 31, 2005, the department of public instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS). This is the department's decision regarding that complaint. The issues are whether the district during the 2005-2006 school year followed required procedures in determining the special education and related services to be provided to a child with a disability who transferred into the district and implemented the child's individualized education program (IEP) between September 1 and October 28, 2005.

During the 2004-2005 school year, the student attended a different local educational agency (LEA). On June 16, 2005, an IEP team determined the student is a child with a disability, developed an IEP, and determined placement. The student's parent attended the IEP team meeting and signed consent for placement of her child. On September 1, 2005, the first day of school for the 2005-2006 school year, the student transferred to another school district and started attending all regular education classes in his current school. The school's procedure is to request student's records from previous schools as soon as possible, requesting records for students identified as or suspected of being a child with a disability before regular education student's records.

On October 11, 2005, the student was suspended from school. The student's mother states that on October 12 she informed the assistant principal that her son is a child with a disability. On October 27, 2005, the student's psychologist contacted the school's special services supervisor and inquired about the student's special education services. On October 26 and November 2, requests for the student's records were faxed to the student's former school district. On November 4, 2005, the student's current school received the student's June 16, 2005, IEP. On November 7, 2005, the LEA representative of the student's current school reviewed the child's IEP, determined the services could be implemented as written, and sent the student's parent a notice of placement. On November 7, the student's IEP was implemented.

When an LEA receives a transfer student with a disability, they must ensure that there is no interruption in the student's special education and related services. If the receiving LEA has not received the student's education records, the receiving LEA must request in writing the student's education records from the sending agency. The receiving LEA did not request this student's education records in September when the student enrolled or when the assistant principal was informed that the student was a child with a disability. On November 7, the LEA followed required procedures in determining the special education and related services to be provided to the child with a disability who transferred into the district. However, these procedures were not followed in a timely manner due to the delay in requesting the student's records. The LEA did not implement the student's individualized education program (IEP) between September and November 7, 2005.

Within 30 days of receiving this decision, the district is directed to reconvene an IEP team meeting to determine if additional services are needed as a result of not providing services as specified in the student's IEP between September and November 7, 2005. By January 27, 2006, the district must send to the department a copy of the student's IEP. In addition, the school special education leadership liaison must work with the school's staff to analyze the school's procedures for determining the special education and related services to be provided to a child with a disability who transfers into the school including the request for records procedures when the school does not receive the student's records from the sending school within 5 days of the student starting to attend class. They must also develop a plan of activities with a timeline to ensure procedures are completed timely and there is no interruption in the student's special education and related services. By January 27, 2006, the district must send to the department a written report of the analysis and plan of activities. Within 5 days of completion of all activities, the district must send to the department documentation of the effectiveness of the activities.

This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed CST 12/7/05
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy

Dec/jfd

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