The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Milwaukee Public Schools must pay just more than $450,000 to the legal staff representing plaintiffs in a class-action suit over how the district serves students with special needs, a federal judge has ordered.
The order Friday followed a ruling in June that MPS must do more for special needs students, including assessments for children who might need services and interventions for students who have a high number of suspensions and for those who have failed a grade.
This is the most recent order in the continuing saga (beginning in 2001) of MPS and its “denial of entry or delayed entry or participation in the process…” of those students eligible for special education services.
Major concerns were expressed in the case about students being suspended rather than evaluated and identified as eligible for special ed services. MPS says they have improved, although a report for the last school year indicates MPS may have the highest suspension rates in the country. Do we know how many of these were students needing services?
The Journal Sentinel has been closely following this case. “Still ahead is a trial in November on issues such as whether MPS might be required to provide compensatory damages to anyone who was denied adequate special education in 2000, the starting point for the lawsuit.” Stay tuned!