St. Paul school district 'investigating thoroughly' complaints over backdated student records

May 06, 2019 09:01 AM

Parents of a St. Paul school district student want to know why their child's student records were altered concerning special education services at Como Park Elementary School.

KSTP agreed to protect the identity of the parents and the student after releasing the student's special education records for the 2018-2019 school year.


Records provided by the family to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS show the student's Individual Education plan, or IEP, was not followed properly under federal law.

States and school districts are reimbursed for IEP costs which include services such as occupational therapists, speech pathologists and paraprofessionals.

Under federal law, students with special education needs must receive those services from the school district in which they reside and the school district must document those services and show the student received them in order to be reimbursed.

The documents of the Como Park Student, from the school and SPPS, show the student did not receive help from the school's speech pathologist for a total of 12 separate dates during November and December 2018.

The parents of the child told KSTP they did not receive notice their child was not receiving services from the speech pathologist. The school has agreed to make up those missed dates.

The student's IEP also included classroom assistance from a paraprofessional throughout the school year and those dates and times were supposed to be recorded as the services were rendered.

However, school documents given to KSTP show the paraprofessional submitted multiple dates in September, October and November 2018 for the student. Those documents were not logged until March 21, 2019, all within minutes of one another on the same day.

"I believe my child did not receive paraprofessional assistance on those dates," the student's parent said.  "As far as I am concerned the reason, no doubt, that Como Park's administration had those services backdated was because our child did not receive the services in the months of October, November and December."

SPPS issued a statement to KSTP that said, in part, "we take all complaints seriously" and "investigate thoroughly" all complaints, but "we cannot discuss student private data, or personnel matters publicly."

Como Park Elementary, according to SPPS, has "about 100" students who receive special education services, but did not say how many records of these students it planned on reviewing.

The student's parent said the family has "no doubt whatsoever" that other students at the school have not received all of their required special education services.

"If our child did not see a speech pathologist because that person was gone in November and December, how could any of the other students who receive that service, with their IEP, have received it?," the parent asked.

The Minnesota Department of Education told KSTP federally mandated special education services are 100-percent reimbursable from the federal government and in fiscal year 2018, Minnesota was reimbursed $181.9-million for special education services.

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Jay Kolls

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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