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IDEA Complaint Decision 14-042

On July 7, 2014, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) 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, during the 2013-14 school year, followed proper procedures when a student transferred between districts in Wisconsin and extended school year (ESY) services were not provided in accordance with the student’s individualized education program (IEP).

During the 2013-14 school year, the student with a disability attended a public school in a nonresident school district under Wisconsin’s full-time open enrollment program. Once the student transferred to the nonresident school district under open enrollment, the nonresident district was responsible to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) including developing the student’s IEP and providing special education and related services described in the student’s IEP.  On May 29, the nonresident district conducted an IEP team meeting to review and revise the student’s IEP, discuss ESY programming and determine continuing placement. The IEP included ESY services for July 8-25, 2014.

On June 7, 2014, the student’s open enrollment ended, and the student transferred back to the resident district. When a student transfers between districts in Wisconsin, the new district, in consultation with the parent, must provide FAPE to the student, including services comparable to those described in the student’s IEP from the previous district, until the new district either adopts the student’s IEP from the previous district or develops a new IEP. On July 8, 2014, the student’s parent sent an e-mail to the resident district requesting the ESY services. ESY services were not provided. The district did not properly follow the transfer procedures by providing comparable services, including the ESY services described in the student’s previous IEP, or develop a new IEP. 

By October 5, 2014, the district must conduct an IEP team meeting, for the student, to consider whether compensatory services are required, and send to the department a copy of the IEP documenting consideration of compensatory service. In addition, the district must submit a corrective action plan to ensure district staff properly follow transfer procedures when a student with a disability returns to the district following open enrollment.

All noncompliance identified above must be corrected as soon as possible, but in no case more than one year from the date of this decision. This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed CST 9/4/2014
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support