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IDEA Complaint Decision 04-034

On August 13, 2004, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against Milwaukee Public Schools. This is the department's decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district responded properly to a parent request in April 2004 for an independent educational evaluation (IEE) of her child.

On February 13, 2003, the child's classroom teacher referred the child for an evaluation of suspected special education needs in the area of specific learning disabilities. On March 27 and May 6, 2003, individualized education program (IEP) team meetings were held for the child to determine eligibility, develop an initial IEP and determine placement. The child's mother, a local education agency representative, two regular education teachers, a special education diagnostic teacher, school psychologist, speech pathologist, and the school principal were present at the IEP team meetings. The IEP team determined the child did not meet the criteria for specific learning disability and did meet the criteria for speech and language impairment.

On April 28, 2004, an individualized education program (IEP) team meeting was held for the child to develop an IEP and determine placement. The child's mother was present at the IEP team meeting. The mother requested an IEE for her son during the April 28 IEP team meeting. On May 27, 2004, the child's classroom teacher and speech and language pathologist requested that the child be reevaluated. On June 8, 2004, the mother refused to consent for further testing by MPS. The parent also indicated to the school social worker that she wanted an IEE for her son. On June 9, 2004, the district informed the mother that the district refused to provide an IEE. On September 29, 2004, the district informed the child's mother in a letter that the district's June 9 decision not to provide an IEE was in error and based on the district's IEE policy, recently revised and approved by the department, the child is eligible for an IEE at public expense. The district also provided the child's parents information about where to obtain an IEE and the district's IEE criteria. No further corrective action is required.

This concludes our review of this complaint which the department is closing.

//signed 10/8/04
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy