Milwaukee Public Schools Lose Special Education Lawsuit

Sarah Carr & Alan Borsuk:

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Milwaukee Public Schools systemically failed to provide special education services to children who needed them, and the state Department of Public Instruction failed to exercise adequate oversight.
In his decision, U.S. Magistrate Judge Aaron Goodstein said the district broke the law between 2000 and 2005 when it failed to evaluate students with a suspected disability on a timely basis and routinely suspended them instead of figuring out if they needed special education services.
For the state, Goodstein wrote, “the underlying problem was the failure of DPI to put any teeth into its bite.”
Goodstein quoted the testimony of one DPI administrator who said she was not aware that any deadlines were set for MPS to remedy its problems. “No consequences were ever imposed,” Goodstein wrote.

2 thoughts on “Milwaukee Public Schools Lose Special Education Lawsuit”

  1. Just a reminder that the MMSD has been out of compliance with the State statutes for gifted education since 1990. As well, school districts across the state have been slashing and burning and completely eliminating their G/T budgets … at the same time they have been jumping on the “cookie cutter curriculum” bandwagon, thereby increasing the number of students who need greater challenge than is provided by the regular classroom curriculum.
    A couple of years ago, when a Wisconsin parent of a gifted student requested that the DPI actually do the statewide service delivery audits that they have historically been required to do, the DPI responded by eliminating said requirement of regular audits of our 426 school districts’ services for gifted students. Talk about chutzpah!
    The best this parent was able to do was to get a judge to rule that the DPI must articulate clear, consistent and meaningful identification methods and criteria for use across the State. Perhaps not surprisingly, what the DPI has come up with in response to that judicial ruling is very weak, at best.
    You can find more information about all of this on the Madison United for Academic Excellence website. That includes current information about the identification rule that the DPI has come up with; testimony from several state leaders and others regarding the rule’s inadequacies; and instructions for how to send in your own thoughts to the DPI. The deadline for public comment is September 24.

  2. I am a parent of a child with disabilities and currently involved in a suit at the Federal level Hayes v. Williamsville Central School District, New York State Department of Education, and United States Dept of Health and Human Services Office for Civli Rights for Discrimination and Retaliation my son was not provided supervison required by his IEP and two students picked him up and threw him head first into a garbage can and he suffered a concussion and could not access his free appropriate public education for approx nine months, I was denied access to his records, his stay put rights were violated, hearings were delayed, State Ed.Dept.engaged in protracted behavior allowing the district to delay hearings by over 200 days, district with aid of state agencies denied my child entrance into day habilitation program with no documented reason office for civil rights will not complete its investigaton of my complaints for violation of HIPPA and discrimination from over a year ago etc. any suggestons or comments for a parent going at it Pro Se have tried many Lawyers

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