Fairhaven School District Refuses to Provide Information
When school districts receive money from the government (IDEA Part B funding), they make promises; one of those promises is to have special education policies and procedures (P&P) that both conform to the law and are available to the public upon request.
I am working on a project to compile all of these P&Ps so that parents/ guardians can more effectively advocate for their children. What a district is supposed to do (and even what a district says they do) can diverge from what they actually do. Making these P&Ps available helps to make districts accountable. Among over 320 districts in the commonwealth, Fairhaven stands out in terms of its evasive maneuvers and bad faith refusal to provide their 2022-2023 P&P to us.
Our first request for this document was over a year ago. Public records law requires that it be provided within ten business days of the request. Numerous state agencies have already been involved. In light of this, one has to wonder why Fairhaven does not want this document made available. We will continue to fight to get it, and when we do, we will make it public.
Although Fairhaven continues to refuse to provide its P&P for 2022-2023, Fairhaven has since made a P&P (for 2023-2024) available on its website.
Mary McGowan, Medfield, MA , The Massachusetts Special Education Advocacy Project
Click here to download the 9/28/23 issue: 09-28-23 Westie
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