October 3, 2022, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) announced a new investigation into Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS).
The complaint on which the investigation is based alleges FCPS engaged in predetermination, which is a procedural violation of the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) and implementing Virginia regulations. (Additional Reading: “What is Predetermination?“)
The Predetermination in Which FCPS Allegedly Engaged
During the 2021-22 school year, Parent repeatedly requested an IEP meeting to discuss recovery services/compensatory education. FCPS failed to hold an IEP meeting to discuss recovery services/compensatory education. Student graduated and Parent continued to request an IEP meeting to discuss recovery services/compensatory education for Student.
FCPS Procedural Support Liaison Carolyn Edner advised Parent:
Because [Student] graduated from high school with an advanced studies diploma in June 2022, FCPS has fulfilled its responsibility to provide [Student} with a free and appropriate education. Nevertheless, in the spirit of collaboration, FCPS is offering to meet with you.
Carolyn emailed the above statement September 15, 2022, September 19, 2022, and September 22, 2022, after Parent spent years submitting requests for recovery services/compensatory education for Student (original request was in 2020, during COVID).
September 22, 2022, Parent emailed Carolyn and advised her that Parent considered Carolyn’s statement to be predetermination. Parent filed a state complaint with VDOE the same day.
October 3, 2022, VDOE issued a Notice of Complaint (NOC) in response to Parent’s complaint.
October 20, 2022, is FCPS’s response due date to VDOE’s NOC.
November 21, 2022, is VDOE’s findings due date.
For over a year, Parent asked FCPS to provide all educational records that FCPS used and/or will use to make recovery services/comp ed services decisions in regard to Parent’s student.
FCPS maintains that it provided the records.
Parent maintains that FCPS did not provide the records.
Parent repeatedly suggests a simple solution: If FCPS knows what records it allegedly provided Parent, it should be easy for FCPS to provide the records it allegedly provided again.
Instead, FCPS has continued its months-long refusal to provide the requested educational records.
FCPS states that Parent submitted FERPA requests and that FCPS provided the records within the FERPA requests. Parent maintains that the requested records were not included with FCPS’s FERPA responses, hence the repeated requests for the records.
Parent offered another simple solution: If FCPS knows what it allegedly provided in the FERPA responses, it should be easy for FCPS to provide a list of those records. FCPS has refused to do this.
Instead, Parent continues to request the records and FCPS continues to refuse to provide them.