A recently released report from Kansas’ Department of Education found that Shawnee Mission’s School District has violated state-mandated requirements for special education.

The department analyzed complaints regarding the district’s services for special ed. and discovered four regions where the school district is not in compliance.

Report Discoveries

The report stated that students are not given appropriate amounts of minutes defined in their educational plans, dubbed IEPs, due to understaffed schools.

Some students in elementary school didn’t get the support services their IEP’s required, and some high school, as well as middle school students, had been taught by members of staff that did not have legitimate credentials. In addition, gifted students were not given enough special services outlined in their IEPs.

The report also says that the issues do not reflect district-wide regulations to deprive students intentionally.

Statements

A spokesperson for the district released these statements on Tuesday evening after the revelations:

“The Shawnee Mission School District cooperated fully with the investigator’s requests over the last several weeks. The report, received on Friday, December 22, is being reviewed carefully.

He added that the district is happy that the investigation, which was thorough, “Rejected the complainant’s broad allegations, finding no ‘evidence of systemic actions, policy or practices on the part of the district purposefully designed to undermine the ability of school-level professionals to perform their duties.’

“The district works tirelessly to comply with applicable special education requirements. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, circumstances beyond our control interfere. The district will work with KSDE to meet the requirements outlined in the investigator’s report, most of which involve individual or a small number of students. In every instance, we will continue to strive to provide the best education possible to all students, including students receiving special education services.”

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