Advocacy Alert: FCPS Won’t Implement Corrective Actions Required in U.S. Dept of Ed Monitoring Report

6.23.20: The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) issued a Differentiated Monitoring Report about Virginia.

For each issue cited, there is an action required by OSEP—and these actions have 90-day timelines associated with them.

8.4.20: I requested formal guidance from OSEP and asked:

Is it OSEP’s position that, after its monitoring letters are released, it is acceptable for the SEA and LEAs to continue taking the very actions they’ve been asked to correct?

Today, OSEP Associate Division Director Matthew Schneer replied:

As you noted, our monitoring letter to VDOE, dated June 23, 2020, provides 90 days for VDOE to meet the required actions.  OSEP is engaging in discussions with VDOE on how the State will come into compliance.  However, any actions or activities by VDOE or its LEAs that are not consistent with IDEA in the interim period will be considered noncompliance and subject to the requirements in 34 C.F.R. § 300.600(e).

6.24.20: Jennifer Krempasky was emailed the monitoring report. (see email below). At the time, Jen was a Senior Educational Services Specialist, in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Due Process & Eligibility Office. It was just announced that she’ll be an assistant principal at Robinson Secondary School.

7.6.20: Jen responded (see email below):

Thank you for the U.S. Department of Education’s Differentiated Monitoring and Support report. We will work with the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) to ensure Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) remains compliant with the Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia. At this time, FCPS has not yet received any additional guidance from VDOE, and as such, must continue to operate under the current regulations.

FCPS had a choice to take corrective action. Instead, it ignored the report. Reminds me of my son telling my daughter that the house needs to be cleaned, but my daughter ignores him because I didn’t tell her directly. She knows it needs doing, but chooses to ignore my son. In FCPS’ case, it was provided the OSEP report on Virginia. This wasn’t info shared secondhand. It was provided an official report and chose not to take action.

Their choice?

Keep on the same track.

If FCPS has denied you an IEE or you’ve had issues with anything else listed within the monitoring report, please contact Samantha Hollins at VDOE and ask her when the state will be in compliance. Sam’s email is Tell her that Callie Oettinger suggested you contact her.

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