On November 21, 2022 (form dated November 18, 2022), the Department of Public Instruction (department) received a complaint under state and federal special education law from #### (complainant) against the District. This is the department's decision regarding that complaint. The issue identified is whether the district, beginning November 21, 2021, properly provided speech and language services to a parentally placed private school student in accordance with their individualized service plan.
Students with disabilities who are parentally placed in private schools do not have an individual right to receive some or all of the special education and related services they would receive if enrolled in a public school, and there is no individual entitlement to services. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that annually a school district spend a proportionate share of IDEA funds on special education and related services for private school students with disabilities as a group. The expenditures must be consistent with the other requirements of the IDEA regulations. School districts and private schools engage in an annual consultation process to determine the types of special education and related services to be provided to parentally placed private school students with disabilities. Timely and meaningful consultation must occur before any decisions are made that will affect the participation of parentally placed private school children with disabilities. 34 CFR 300.132-300.134.
The student who is the subject of this complaint is parentally placed in a private school within the school district's boundaries. On March 14, 2022, the student's parents, district staff, and private school employees met to develop the student's annual services plan. The plan states the student is to receive 25 minutes weekly of speech and language services. Documentation and staff interviews demonstrate that although the student received speech and language services during the 2021-22 school year, the student has not received any speech and language services during the 2022-23 school year due to district-wide speech and language provider vacancies. District staff also acknowledged that they did not provide proper notification to the parents of students receiving services who attend this private school of the ongoing speech and language staffing issues. The district acknowledges that service plans for parentally placed private school students were not properly being implemented as written. The district did not properly provide speech and language services to a parentally placed private school student in accordance with their individualized services plan.
Although the district may change the special education or related services provided to parentally placed private school children with disabilities, the district should have participated in timely and meaningful consultation with the private school when the district was unable to fill the speech and language teacher vacancy. As a result, within 30 days of the date of this decision, the district must submit a corrective action plan to ensure consultation takes place before making any future service delivery decisions and that the required proportionate share of funding is properly expended.
All noncompliance identified above must be corrected as soon as possible but no more than one year from the date of this decision. This concludes our review of this complaint. This decision is final for the IDEA State Complaint process. These issues may be addressed through other dispute resolutions, including mediation and due process hearings. For more information, visit the department's website at http://dpi.wi.gov/sped/dispute-resolution or contact the special education team at (608) 266-1781.