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IDEA Complaint Decision 08-034

On March 21, 2008, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS). This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district on March 7, 2008, properly determined a student’s placement.

On March 7, 2008, the district held an individualized education program (IEP) team meeting to review and revise the student’s IEP, complete a functional behavioral assessment, behavioral intervention plan, transition statement, and determine placement. The student’s mother attended the meeting along with a parent advocate. The IEP team decided the student’s IEP would continue to be implemented at the student’s current school for the remainder of the current school year and at a district high school named on the placement notice for the 2008-2009 school year. In addition, after the request of the parent advocate, the student’s mother was provided information about other schools. On March 31, 2008, the student’s teacher contacted the student’s parent to discuss the student’s placement, and the student’s parent stated she would leave her son’s placement at the school determined at the IEP team meeting. During the investigation of this complaint, the student’s parent was contacted. The parent stated she participated in the placement decision and wanted her son to attend the school determined by the IEP team.

Placement determinations, including the educational environment(s) in which the student will be taught and the site where the IEP will be implemented, are made by the IEP team, including the parent, and not by any one individual. The IEP team is not required by law to provide a parent options to consider or schools to visit before the IEP team determines the student’s placement. If a student’s parent disagrees with an IEP team’s placement decision, the parent may resolve the issue by requesting an IEP team meeting, mediation, a due process hearing or through a complaint with the department. During the March 7, 2008, IEP team meeting, the IEP team properly determined the student’s continuing placement.

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

//signed CST 5/6/08
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy