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IDEA Complaint Decision 07-066

On September 24, 2007, 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 in September 2007 properly modified the related service of transportation in the individualized education program (IEP) of a child with a disability.

On March 26, 2007, an IEP team meeting was held for a student for the purposes of evaluation including determination of eligibility, annual IEP development, and placement. Transportation was listed as a related service for the child to benefit from special education. Transportation was described as five days a week, to and from school via bussette, and the duration listed was until March 25, 2008.

Upon the start of the 2007-2008 school year, the parent noticed that special education busing had not been assigned, and the student was being transported to and from school using a regular bus. The parent alleges, and the school acknowledges, a school staff member altered the ending date for special transportation on the March 2007 IEP from March 25, 2008, to June 13, 2007. On September 17, 2007, the district and the parent agreed by telephone, and documented in writing, to change the student’s IEP without an IEP team meeting. The duration of the transportation listed on the IEP was properly changed from June 13, 2007, back to March 25, 2008. The district acknowledges the student needed special transportation (via bussette) as a related service from the beginning of the school year. Beginning on September 20, 2007, the student was transported by bussette to and from school as listed on the IEP.

On November 5, the district contacted the parent to determine if the issue had been resolved. The parent requested the district send a letter to her recognizing the district made an error on the child’s March 26, 2007 IEP. On November 9, 2007, the district sent a letter to the parent acknowledging its error and its correction made on September 17, 2007.

Within thirty days, the district will submit a corrective action plan to the department to ensure all staff working with transportation needs of students with disabilities do not modify IEPs outside of the IEP team process.

This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed CST 11/19/07
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy