This was a presentation given by a law firm at the Spring Forum 2011. You will be able to find Fox C-6 on slide #30 titled Current OCR Disability Discrimination Reviews.
How long does it take to do a Compliance Review?
I would like to note that it is a fact that the Compliance Review is being conducted even if the district has not publicly acknowledged this information.
In the Resolution Agreement the district agreed to update its 504 Manual, policies and procedures to remove references to mitigating measures and to incorporate a definition of a person with a disability that is consistent with the ADAAA. Revisions will include but not be limited to, defining 'major life activities' as they are defined in the ADAAA and removing references to any court decisions that were specifically rejected by the ADAAA. Additionally, it was identified by ED OCR that district policies and student handbooks identified at least 7 different contacts as the Section 504 coordinator for the district. One of which has been retired since 2008.
You may ask how long does it take for the district to update its documentation as requested? School board members Cheryl Hermann and Dan Smith should be asking questions as to why it is taking the district so long to produce these documents? Does it truly take more than 3 years to update documents in our school district? This responsibility should also fall on the shoulders of the superintendent. Does this demonstrate effective leadership or management skills? It has already been more than 6 months since the 'completely overhauled' school board policies, regulations and forms were released for review. The district informed ED OCR that they would be providing updated policies to ED OCR by August 28, 2012 as part of the Resolution Agreement after failing to meet previously set deadlines informing ED OCR that the update policies had to first be approved by the school board. The school failed to meet that deadline and ED OCR extended the district deadline another 2 months. Perhaps Cheryl Hermann and Dan Smith can explain why these deadlines are consistently not being met?
I recently learned that a different attorney from the school district law firm has to get up to speed on these matters as the current one is retiring. At least that was the reason given this time by Karl Menninger from the Kansas City U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (ED OCR) office monitoring the Resolution Agreement in a recent email. However, this was the same reason given to Senator Roy Blunt’s office by the KC OCR office in May 2012. It begs the question as to how long does it take to get up to speed? Attorneys are needed to help review and help produce documentation that ED OCR has been requesting from the district since May 2009? Luckily for the school district, ED OCR graciously continues to provide the district with new deadlines each time it doesn't meet them rather than take enforcement actions or reopen the investigation like their regulations allow them to do. Per an email from Rosanne Shepherd of Kansas City ED OCR, “OCR is continuing our efforts to allow the District to comply with the voluntary agreement. The District has not indicated they refuse to comply with the agreement, therefore, at this time OCR has not decided if it will reopen the investigation or to move to enforcement. OCR will continue to monitor the District’s compliance with the agreement and will keep you informed of monitoring activities.”
Maybe Dan Smith would be interested in answering your questions about spending your taxpayer dollars regarding these matters?