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IDEA Complaint Decision 06-043

On October 12, 2006, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS). This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, during the 2005-2006 school year, transferred pupil records for a student with a disability to the receiving school within five working days of the request.

On or about September 1, 2005, the student enrolled at a private school. During the first week of September 2005 a school social worker completed a search to determine why the student was not attending his assigned MPS school. The social worker was verbally informed by the student’s father that the student would be attending a private school. On September 8 the social worker submitted the MPS form documenting that the student was attending a private school. There is no record that a written request for records was submitted to MPS from the private school or from the child’s parent. Pupil records were not sent to the private school. On September 5, 2006, the student enrolled in a MPS school. On September 1 and 5, 2006, a written request for records was sent to the student’s previous private school.

A school district must transfer to another school or school district all pupil records relating to a specific student if it has received written notice from an adult student or the student’s parent or guardian, if the student is a minor, that the student intends to enroll in the other school or school district or written notice from the other school or school district that the student has enrolled. The district must send the records within five working days of receipt of the written request. In this case MPS did not receive a written notice or request for records to be sent to the private school the student attended at the beginning of the 2005-2006 school year. In September 2006 MPS properly requested in writing the student’s records from the private school.

This concludes our review of this complaint, which we are closing.

//signed 11/20/06
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy