IDEA Complaint Decision 05-058

On November 28, 2005, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Racine Unified School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, during the 2005-2006 school year, implemented a student’s individualized education program (IEP) regarding provision of interpreter services.

The student’s parent alleges the district failed to provide her child with interpreter services as outlined in her IEP. Specifically, the parent contends that no services are provided on days when the interpreter is out due to medical leave. The student’s August 30, 2005, IEP states that the student will receive the related service of educational interpretation daily in special education and general education environments. A full time educational interpreter is assigned to the student for the entire school day. Between September 1, and November 28, 2005, the student’s assigned educational interpreter was not at school five days: September 27, October 5, 6, 7, and November 16. On September 27, the interpreter was ill and a substitute was not provided. On October 5 and 6 the itinerant teacher for children with hearing impairments provided the required educational interpreting. On October 7 an individual from the district substitute interpreter list provided services. On November 16 an individual from a professional interpreting service provided the services. An educational interpreter in a PK-12 setting must have the DPI license #884 or an educational interpreter substitute license. In this case, the itinerant teacher for children with hearing impairments does not hold that license. In addition the October 7 district substitute interpreter and the student’s assigned educational interpreter’s licenses expired June 30, 2005. The department concludes that the district failed to implement the child’s IEP regarding provision of interpreter services on four days by not having an interpreter September 27 and not having a licensed educational interpreter provide the required services October 5, 6, and 7 when the assigned interpreter was absent. In addition the district failed to implement the child’s IEP regarding provision of interpreter services because the student’s assigned educational interpreter license expired June 30, 2005.

The district has an emergency plan for absences of educational interpreters. In the event of an absence, it is the building principal’s responsibility to expedite the plan to contact a substitute interpreter or cover the position with another building staff. The building principal followed the district’s emergency plan for absences of educational interpreters. Within 30 days of the date of this decision, the district must submit to the department a proposed corrective action plan to ensure that the district provides educational interpreting services using licensed interpreters, and that students receive the amount of educational interpreting services specified in their IEPs. In addition, within 30 days of the date of this decision, the district must hold an IEP team meeting to determine whether additional services are required for the period during which services were not provided.

This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed 1/26/06
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