Strong words from OSPI and withholding of $3,000,000.00 should get someone's attention at SPS, maybe the school board should step in and make sure people are doing their jobs.
I note that on item called out by OSPI is the hiring of a consultant to come in and oversee the work. That is on the Board agenda for Wednesday's meeting but it may have come too late for OSPI's comfort.
The district has thirty days to appeal to OSPI over the withholding of funds.
What is going on? How did it get this far? When Sped director after Spec director left, why didn't someone in senior management take control and not allow this to happen? And meanwhile, it's the students, teachers and parents who suffer.
You can't be mad at any SPED parent who says they can't take the district seriously.
A summary of OSPI's letter:
High risk determination. The United States Department of Education’s General
Administration Regulations in 34CFR 80.12 provide as Follows:
(a) A grantee or subgrantee may be considered “high risk” if an awarding agency
Determines that a grantee or subgrantee:
(1) Has a history of unsatisfactory performance, or
(2) Is not financially stable, or
(3) Has a management system which does not meet the management standards set
Forth in this part, or
(4) Has not conformed to terms and conditions of previous awards. Or
(5) Is otherwise not responsible; and if the awarding agency determines that an
Award will be made, special conditions and/or restrictions shall correspond to the
high risk condition and shall be included in the award.
(b) Special conditions or restrictions mat include:
(1) Payment on a reimbursement basis;
(2) Withholding authority to proceed to the next phase until receipt of evidence of acceptable performance within a given funding period.
(3) Requiring additional, more detailed financial reports;
(4) Additional project monitoring ;
(5) Requiring the grantee or subgrantee to obtain technical or management
(6) Establishing additional prior approvals.
For the reasons described above, OSPI has concluded that SPS is a high risk grantee.
In light of its
- Level 4 determination,
- its subsequent failure to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of IDEA Part B as a result of the 2013-2014 implementation of the C-CAP by June 30, 2014, and
- its failure to have both the required third-party consultant and a non-interim director of special education services in place to implement the revised C-CAP,
SPS has shown that it has a history of unsatisfactory performance with respect to the delivery of special education services under IDEA. Moreover, the District’s non-compliance described in the Level 4 determination, and its failure to implement the initial C-CAP in a timely manner, verify that SPS has not conformed to the terms and conditions of previous Part B awards and the required actions associated with the awards. Finally, SPS’s June 17th, 2014 internal audit shows that the District’s management system does not meet the standards required under the Department of Education’s General Administrative Regulations, 34 CFR Part 80.
End of partial letter
Another part of this letter to Superintendent Nyland from OSPI says:
In a letter to Superintendent Jose Banda dated November 1, 2013, I indicated that, as a result of the Level 4 determination,
"The district must demonstrate substantial compliance with the requirements of IDEA 2004 as a result of the 2013-14 implementation of the C-CAP by June 30, 2014.
Otherwise, any further payments of federal IDEA funding to the district will be jeopardized."
The District never objected to or challenged this determination.