Total Pageviews

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Welcome Detroit Parents with Special Ed Students

To All Detroit Parents with Special Ed students!

My name is Aurora Harris and I am an advocate for a relative who is Autistic. I have an M.A. in Social Foundations of Education. Lakeya Martin, our partner blogger and co-editor, has an A.A., and, also has a child with Autism. As members of parent groups that advocate on behalf of students with special needs in Detroit, we have spoken to many parents that have children with disabilities. We found that in the City of Detroit, parents either do not have access to or are not receiving information pertaining to special education, services, laws, and changes in laws at the Federal or State levels that affect children and parents' rights. We (the parents that contribute to this blog) are in agreement that the purpose of this blog is to provide an INTERCULTURAL and INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY space, and, information that encourages parents' learning and continued participation in their disabled childrens' lives (ages birth through 26 in the State of Michigan) through the acquisition of knowledge about:

1. Your legal rights, 2. The IEP and Special education in general, 3. Federal and State laws; 4. Advocacy groups in the State of Michigan and other states, 5. Educational trends within the United States; 6. Workshops by community agencies, centers, and parent groups that by Federal law are to have 1. "A board of directors- the majority of whom are parents of children with disabilities ages birth through 26" and 2. "Has a mission serving families of children with disabilities," and, abides by the laws that protect the rights of disabled persons; and, 7. Participating through the expression of personal experiences with special needs children and special education in the form of letters, creative writing, and poetry.

The advocacy links that are added to this blog are submitted by parents that have either been involved with the groups or agencies or they received helpful information from them. As a parent and independent researcher, some links are added from my research interests concerning autism, law, advocacy, and diversity. This site serves as an INFORMATION SITE. Views and opinions of other agencies or groups that appear on this blog may not be in agreement with yours, mine, or the parents that contribute to this blog. Lakeya, the parents contributing to this blog, and I do not provide legal or medical advice. It is up to each reader of this blog to read through the materials and make your own informed decisions regarding what information is helpful for you.

You will find links to information pertaining to various advocacy agencies, meetings, and workshops that are being scheduled in Detroit; parents' concerns, personal stories of parents and students; and hopefully more links to resources that are in Arabic, Spanish, Bengali, Hindi, and Hmong. Parents are encouraged to email us so that we can get your contributions added. All letters, stories, or poems submitted by parents and students are considered the copyrighted materials that they want published, copied, and circulated to others, and, they have the right to submit or withdraw what is posted at anytime by sending me or Lakeya a request to the emails listed below. We are not responsible for any links to websites that do not work.

On September 9, 2010 the Detroit Board of Education appointed parents with special ed students currently in a Detroit Public Schools as members to the Detroit Public Schools Special Education-Wayne RESA Parent Advisory Committee to serve for 3 years. Seated voting members of the PAC that are representing the District at the County level are: Frances Williams, Lakeya Martin, Verna Brocks, Celena Barnes, and Tamara Howard. The alternates are Aundra Bomar, Aurora Harris, Eileen Gordon-King, and Julia Hernandez. See September 9, 2010 DPS Board minutes at:

Two basic purposes of the Detroit Special Ed-Wayne RESA Parent Advisory Committee are:

1. To advise the Detroit Board of Education on matters pertaining to special education as it relates to the DISTRICT

2. To fulfill those responsibilities designated in Rule 340.1838 Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education Supplemented with IDEA Federal Regulations, April 2009, that states that the representatives "shall consist only of parents of students with disabilities with at least 1 parent from each constituent local school district and public school academy. The PAC also facilitates communication, awareness, and involvement between parents, local districts, Boards of Education/Boards of Directors and the Intermediate School District.


Aurora Harris and Lakeya Martin

Rule 340.1838. (Please make a note that at the county level- Wayne-RESA, because the Detroit School District is the largest in the State, we have 5 voting members and 3 Alternates that were appointed by the DPS Board of Education).

(1) A parent advisory committee shall be appointed by each intermediate school district board.

(a) The parent advisory committee and its officers shall consist only of parents of students with disabilities with at least 1 parent from each constituent local school district and public school academy unless no parent agrees to serve on the parent advisory committee to represent the constituent local school district or public school academy.

(b) Each constituent local school district board of education and each public school academy board of directors shall nominate at least 1 parent.

(c) The intermediate school district board of education may nominate additional members not to exceed 33 1/3% of the total parent advisory committee membership.

(2) The intermediate school district board of education shall make every attempt to assure that all types of impairments and all identifiable organizations of parents of students with disabilities within the intermediate school district are represented on the parent advisory committee.

(3) The intermediate school district board of education may recommend operational procedures for parent advisory committee review and adoption.

(4) The intermediate school district shall secure or allocate fiscal and staff resources to the parent advisory committee to make it efficient and effective in operation.

(5) The parent advisory committee is responsible for determining and documenting,in writing, the organizational structure of the committee, including all of the following:

(a) Officers and their responsibilities.
(b) Meeting times.
(c) Notice of meeting times.
(d) Voting procedures.
(e) Terms of office.
(f) Related matters


3. REGARDING FILING COMPLAINTS by the Michigan State Board of Education Superintendent: STATE COMPLAINTS

R 340.1851 Filing a state complaint.

Rule 151. (1) A state complaint, meeting the requirements of 34 CFR § 300.153, shall be filed with the department and a copy forwarded to the public agency that is the subject of the state complaint.
(2) A state complaint shall be filed with the department within 1 year of the date of the alleged violation.
(3) A state complaint shall be delivered to the department and the public agency by mail, by fax, or by hand.
(4) Any person acting on behalf of a complainant shall provide evidence of that authority.

R 340.1852 General responsibilities of public agencies, intermediate school districts, and the department.
Rule 152. (1) All public agencies shall receive allegations of violations of state or federal regulations pertaining to special education. When an allegation is made orally, the recipient public agency may take formal or informal action as necessary to resolve the situation in compliance with applicable provisions of law, but, at a minimum, shall immediately do all of the following:

(a) Inform the person making the allegation that he or she has a right to file a written state complaint with the department.
(b) Inform the person making the allegation that the filing of a state complaint may be delayed so that mediation or other informal resolution may be attempted. The right to file a state complaint is retained if the informal attempts to resolve the concern in a timely manner are unsuccessful.
(c) Provide the person making the allegation with a copy of part 8 of these rules and the department's procedures pertaining to state complaints.
(d) Offer to assist the person in filing a state complaint.

(2) All public agencies shall have procedures to receive state complaints.
(3) If requested, the intermediate school district shall assist a person in writing a state complaint.
(4) When a state complaint is filed, the department shall provide the complainant with all of the following: (a) A copy of part 8 of these rules. (b) A copy of the procedures established by the department pertaining to state complaints. (c) A copy of the procedural safeguards notice. (d) Information regarding mediation.
R 340.1853 Investigation, report, and final decision of a state complaint.

Rule 153. (1) The department and the intermediate school district shall investigate state complaints pursuant to part 8 of these rules, procedures established by the department pertaining to state complaints, and the federal regulations implementing the individuals with disabilities education act. The department may independently initiate and investigate a state complaint.
(2) The intermediate school district shall appoint a staff member, or contract with an independent agent, to conduct the investigation with the department. The intermediate school district investigator shall not have administrative authority over programs or services against which a state complaint is filed.
(3) The public agency shall cooperate with the department and the intermediate school
district during the conduct of the investigation, including submitting documents requested by the intermediate school district or the department.
(4) The department, during the pendency of the state complaint, shall require any public agency against which the complaint was lodged to maintain the educational status, program placement, and services of an involved student as it was before the complaint if, in the judgment of the department, not doing so constitutes a violation of the student’s due process protections.
(5) The department shall issue a final written decision within 60 calendar days after a complaint is filed.
(6) The department may grant an extension of time if exceptional circumstances exist with respect to a particular state complaint. A denial of an extension request is final.
(7) The department shall mail the final written report to the complainant, any public
agency subject to the state complaint, and the intermediate school district.

R 340.1854 Corrective action and proof of compliance.

Rule 154. (1) The public agency shall correct violations as directed by the department.
(2) The intermediate school district shall assist the public agency in monitoring the
progress of the corrective action.
(3) The public agency shall submit proof of compliance to the department and the
intermediate school district documenting that the violation is corrected within the time line specified in the corrective action.

R 340.1855 Failure to comply with corrective action in a timely manner; sanctions.

Rule 155 (1) If a public agency fails to correct known violations of law in a timely manner,or fails to cooperate with the department or the intermediate school district during the conduct of its investigation, or presents known falsification of fact, or continues repetition of similar violations, the department shall do 1 or more of the following:
(a) If the public agency in violation is a local school district or a public school
academy, then the department shall direct the intermediate school district to provide
complying programs and services pursuant to section 1702 of 1976 PA 451, MCL 380.1702.
(b) If the public agency in violation is an intermediate school district, the department may withdraw the authority of the intermediate school district to operate a program that is in noncompliance and simultaneously require the public agency of residence to place the affected student or students in an appropriate program.
(c) Withhold federal funds under part B of the individuals with disabilities education act, 20 U.S.C. chapter 33, §1400, et seq.
(d) Apply other penalties under 1976 PA 451, MCL 380.1.
(e) Withhold state funds under 1979 PA 94, MCL 388.1601, or any other governing
(f) Withhold, withdraw, or suspend such endorsements, approvals, credentials, grants, or authorizations pertaining to special education personnel or projects that the department, or its designee, had authority to grant as authorized by, and in accordance with, the procedures required by law.
(g) Seek enforcement of the corrective action in a court of appropriate jurisdiction.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Dear Anonymous: Please send an e-mail to