A federal judge appointed the monitor who will oversee the Milwaukee Public Schools process of locating and compensating students who were denied special education services between 2000 and 2005. The process requires locating thousands of students, potentially. Elise T. Baach was appointed as independent monitor of the class action lawsuit.
In addition to the appointment, the judge, U.S. Magistrate Judge Aaron Goodstein, also provided documents on when the search for these individuals would be conducted. The schools must track down any student who missed being identified as eligible to receive special education services between that timeframe. Both current and former students would be sought.
The search and compensation is required after a court found that the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act, a federal law, was violated. That lawsuit, Jamie S. Vs. Milwaukee Public Schools was ruled on in the same court district.
Not only do the schools need to locate these students but they must also determine what is fair compensatory services to provide to those whose rights were violated. Notices must be posted starting September 1st, 2009 in all public schools in the district and must remain there until Jan 4th, 2010. Anyone who could have had their rights violated is encouraged to sign the class action lawsuit to receive the required compensatory requirements. Students who were suspended during for more than ten days in that period must also be identified, and the schools must determine which students could have qualified.
The original lawsuit claims that the school did not make required payments to allow the special education students to attend private schools for the services that the public schools could not provide. The school district has appealed the ruling.
If you are a school administrator with a question about special education, accommodations, student rights, free speech or discipline, feel free to call Richard Oppenheim at 818-461-8500. There is never a charge for an initial consultation and we can help you choose the best direction to resolve any school district issue.