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IDEA Complaint Decision 07-053

On July 23, 2007, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the School District of South Milwaukee. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issues are whether the district, during the 2006-2007 school year, properly afforded a parent the opportunity to participate in individualized education program (IEP) team meetings and properly considered the parent’s concerns for enhancing the education of his child.

On September 19, 2006, the parent was sent an invitation for his child’s IEP team meeting. The invitation notice states “If these meeting arrangements are not agreeable to you, please call [special education teacher] at [phone number].” The special education teacher also left a phone message for the parent prior to the IEP team meeting and there was no return call. On October 2, an IEP team meeting was held and the parent who filed this complaint did not attend; however, the other parent did attend. The district met its obligation to ensure parent participation.

Any individual or organization may file a complaint with the Department of Public Instruction if they believe a public agency has violated state requirements under Chapter 115, Wis. Stats.; PI 11 Wis. Admin. Code; or federal requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) when providing special education programs. The complainant must allege a violation that occurred not more than one year prior to the date that the complaint is received. The investigation of the second issue disclosed that it relates to an IEP team meeting conducted on February 3, 2006, more than one year prior to the date that the complaint was filed by the parent.

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

//signed CST 9/21/07
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy