Verification visit by the office of special education programs osep september 27 29 2010
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Verification Visit by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) September 27-29, 2010. Debriefing Summary. PURPOSE. The OSEP is responsible for ensuring that states meet their general supervision responsibilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

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Debriefing Summary

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Verification visit by the office of special education programs osep september 27 29 2010

Verification Visit by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)September 27-29, 2010

Debriefing Summary



  • The OSEP is responsible for ensuring that states meet their general supervision responsibilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

  • California received a Verification (monitoring) Visit as a part of a four year cycle of visits conducted by the OSEP. California was last visited in September of 2006.

  • The OSEP reviewed three areas: general supervision, fiscal systems, and data collection systems.

  • The OSEP uses an instrument entitled Critical Elements Analysis Guide (CrEAG) to prepare for and conduct the visit.



  • CDE first learned of the visit during a conversation with staff of the OSEP at the Data Manager Meeting in Washington, D.C. in June 2010.

  • Formal notification and date setting occurred in July.

  • Teleconferences were held between the OSEP staff and the SED staff during the months of August and September.

  • The SED met with federal technical assistance contractors (the Data Accountability Center and the Western Regional Resource Center) in July and August and included staff from those contractors in telephone conferences with the OSEP.

Preparation cont d

Preparation, cont’d

  • SED staff completed sections of the CrEAG as an aid in conversations with the OSEP and

  • SED reviewed drafts with a stakeholder group (Advisory Commission members, Parent Training and Information Centers (PTIs), and Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) Directors).

  • Support materials, manuals, forms and review logs were also sent to the OSEP to document SED activities.

Preparation cont d1

Preparation, cont’d

  • The SED was asked to make records of monitoring visits available to the OSEP team

    • Verification Reviews,

    • Special Education Self Reviews,

    • Nonpublic School Reviews,

    • Special Self Reviews,

    • Complaints,

    • Due process hearings,

    • Compliance Determinations, and

    • Data based Compliance Findings.

  • A list of districts was selected by the OSEP based on the results of certain State Performance Plan Indicators.



  • Four staff from the OSEP participated in the review. Two arrived on the second day due to weather delays.

  • CDE participants included managers and consultants from the

    • Special Education Division,

    • Budget Office,

    • Fiscal Policy,

    • School Fiscal Services Division,

    • Office of Administrative Hearings and

    • Finance committee chairs from the SELPA organization.



Monday AM Introduction and Fiscal Systems

Sept. 27PMData Systems

Tuesday AMDebrief Fiscal and Data Systems

Sept. 28Record Reviews

PMGeneral Supervision parts 3, 4, and 5

Wednesday AMGeneral Supervisions parts 1 and 2

Sept. 29 PMDebrief General Supervision

Overall Debrief and Technical Assistance



  • OSEP noted that the CDE had a clear, detailed understanding of its responsibilities for general supervision

  • CDE demonstrated ongoing, cooperative relationships among the various divisions within the CDE as well as collaboration with SELPAs and LEAs.



  • The OSEP identified concerns in two areas:

    • General Supervision

    • Fiscal Systems

General supervision

General Supervision

Disproportionality Calculations

  • The OSEP was concerned about the use of the disparity index. They considered it a “gatekeeper” calculation that eliminated districts before the actual disproportionality was calculated.

General supervision1

General Supervision

Correction of Noncompliance

  • The OSEP was concerned that SED was not obtaining a 100% compliant follow-up sample in all findings of noncompliance – complaints, due process, and data based compliance.

  • According to the OSEP 09-02 memo, a student level finding cannot be considered corrected if there is not follow-up sample of student records that demonstrate compliance at the 100% level.

General supervision2

General Supervision

Correction of Noncompliance

  • There was concern that SED was not implementing the prong two requirement soon enough in its reporting through the SPP and APR. The OSEP is expecting information reported in the 2009-10 APR (findings made in 2008-09; correction made in 2009-10) to include a demonstration of correction using a follow-up sample of student records.

General supervision3

General Supervision

Opening Complaints and FAPE

  • The OSEP is concerned that the SED is not opening complaints appropriately when there is an issue of FAPE.

General supervision4

General Supervision

Date complaints are initiated

  • The OSEP was concerned that the SED was dating materials received regarding a complaint more than once and using the second date as the date to start the timeline.

General supervision5

General Supervision

Timeline Extensions and Complaints

  • The OSEP wants the SED to clarify its policy related to timeline extensions and to ensure implementation and documentation in files.

General supervision6

General Supervision

Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)

  • The OSEP is concerned that California’s data related to LRE is “lower” than most states in the country and wanted to know what the SED was going to do to look into the issue and improve its numbers.

General supervision7

General Supervision

Transition from Part C to Part B

  • The OSEP is concerned that the SED is not reporting transition dates correctly. They reminded the SED that the requirement is that “the IEP has been developed and is being implemented.” They want California to be sure that it addresses the implementation portion of the requirement when collecting data and reporting in the APR.

General supervision8

General Supervision

Private Schools

  • The OSEP was concerned that the SED was not adequately monitoring the private school consultation process. Also, they were interested in how the SED supported and monitored the amount used for proportionate share.

General supervision9

General Supervision

Resolution Session

  • The OSEP found that the current method for collecting information about local resolutions sessions was inadequate and that the SED could not demonstrate that it monitored the requirement to conduct resolutions sessions within 15 days of the filing of a due process hearings.

Fiscal systems

Fiscal Systems

State Maintenance of Effort (MOE)

  • The OSEP was concerned that the CDE was not calculating state MOE properly, particularly related to IEP services provided by CCS.

Fiscal systems1

Fiscal Systems

Local Maintenance of Effort (MOE)

  • The OSEP indicated that the Local Only method used in the MOE tests (both budget to actual and actual to actual) must compare Local Only information from one year to the immediate prior year. The OSEP staff checked this interpretation with staff attorneys at the US Department of Education.

Fiscal systems2

Fiscal Systems

LEA access to federal funds

  • The OSEP is concerned that federal funds/ information about awards are not made available soon enough. They suggested some form of intent to fund notice. They were also concerned that CDE not give the impression that federal IDEA funds were only available for 15 months. They suggested that wording in the grant award letters be changed.

Fiscal systems3

Fiscal Systems

Charter Funding

  • The OSEP expressed concern about when in the year charter schools are provided with federal funds and when allocations are recalculated.

Next steps

Next Steps

  • The SED will be providing the OSEP with materials to assist them in making decisions about the compliance of CDE process. This will include both data to support a determination of compliance and also information about proposed correction activities (in areas where the need for improvement is acknowledged by the SED).

  • The OSEP indicated that they are required to send a follow-up letter within 80 working days of the visit. They indicated that the letter will be based on the material we have submitted as well as information secured and reviewed onsite. Before the letter is written, the team will meet with the Office of General Council to make the final determinations of compliance and technical assistance in the letter.

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