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IDEA Complaint Decision 08-097

On December 11 and December 18, 2008, 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 2008-2009 school year, ensured an individualized education program (IEP) team properly determined services for a student with a disability.

On December 10, 2008, an IEP team met to determine continuing eligibility, develop an annual IEP, and determine continuing placement for a child with a disability. The student’s grandmother attended the IEP team meeting with a child advocate. The IEP team determined the student continued to meet the criteria for a speech and language disability and did not meet the criteria for other health impairment and specific learning disabilities. The IEP team discussed the student’s grandmother’s concerns about the student’s delays in reading and math, which is documented in the student’s IEP. The IEP includes a description of the student’s present levels of educational performance indicating how the student learns and the student’s learning abilities including reading, math and learning needs. IEP team members, including the student’s grandmother, recall discussing the reading curriculum “Language!” and determining the student would continue in her regular education reading curriculum in the regular education environment. The IEP provides that the student will be involved full-time in the general education curriculum. The student would be removed from participation with nondisabled peers in regular education classes for specialized instruction in speech and language thirty minutes three times a week.

On January 15, 2009, the student’s grandmother requested an IEP team meeting to review and revise her granddaughter’s IEP and consider adding enrollment in the “Language!” reading curriculum. On January 30, an IEP team met to review and revise the student’s IEP, determine continuing placement, and to discuss the “Language!” reading program. The child’s grandmother participated in the IEP team meeting by telephone and a child advocate attended the meeting in person. IEP team members including the student’s grandmother recall discussing the reading curriculum, “Language!”, and the student’s present reading performance. The IEP team determined the student would continue in her regular education reading curriculum in the regular education environment. The IEP team reviewed the student’s progress in reading, including passing progress monitoring checks, and determined the student was making significant progress in the regular education curriculum. The IEP team properly determined services for the student based on the identified needs of the child.

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

//signed CST 2/2/09
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy