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.