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IDEA. VITAL INFORMATION FOR TEXAS FAMILIES Creating a transparent process. 4 CORNERSTONES OF IDEA. * referring to Part B of IDEA which applies to ages 3-21 in MD, Part C is Infant and Toddlers

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Creating a transparent process


*referring to Part B of IDEA which applies to ages 3-21 in MD, Part C is Infant and Toddlers

1. FAPE guarantees a free, appropriate, public education. “Appropriate” has been interpreted by the courts to mean that the child gets some meaningful benefit.

2. Due process provisions enable parents to appeal decisions of the IEP team.

3. Procedural safeguards protect the rights of children and parents in the process.


4. Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) requires that the child be educated in regular education classes in the school where the child would have gone if not for the disability, unless the child cannot be educated satisfactorily in that setting even with supplementary aids and services (supports needed to be successful).

*Studies confirm the educational, social/emotional and employment benefits of inclusion


Key areas where we lost ground:

IEP: Lost rights in many ways, including, requirement for short-term objectives for all students with disabilities (SWDs) and transition age.

Discipline: More difficult to show that act was caused by disability, easier to send student out of the school.

Due process: Much more complex and provides less protections for families.

*some improvements in regulations through public comments


Shaffer v. Weast (S. Ct. 2005) - burden of proof in IEP disputes is on party bringing the action (usually parents)

Arlington v. Murphy (S.Ct. 2006)- parents will no longer be reimbursed for experts fees even if they win IEP dispute.

IDEA Fairness Restoration Act-seeks to amend IDEA to allow prevailing parents to be reimbursed for expert fees.

IDEA Reauthorization Issues

  • Evaluations

  • Developmental Disability Category

  • Highly Qualified Special Educator

  • Inclusion

  • IEP Process

  • FAPE

  • Funding

  • Monitoring

  • Transition

  • Due Process

  • Discipline

  • UDL

  • Restraints and Seclusion

  • Professional Development

IDEA Federal Monitoring*State is required to have similar monitoring of districts

  • State Performance Plan (SPP)- 6 year plan with annual benchmarks and targets for 20 indicators

  • Annual Performance Report (APR)- annual report on SPP progress and slippage (publicly reported)


  • TA and enforcement- based on adherence to compliance indicators (and valid data collection for performance indicators) OSEP determines if State:

    • Needs assistance

    • Needs intervention

    • Needs substantial intervention

  • OSEP response to SPP and APR- tells States how they are doing and changes needed.

  • Verification visit-OSEP monitoring team comes to State to verify information. Last visit to Texas in October 2006


  • Use this information for determining GAC objectives

  • Importance of state-level transparency

  • TEXAS IDEA and NCLB related links handout


Mostly verbatim from IDEA (including 16 for transition planning and limits on STO’s). Some additional rules:

  • §89.1055(e) adds 11 strategies that must be considered in IEP for students with autism spectrum disorder.

  • §89.1053. Procedures for use of restraint and time-out

  • §89.1096 Dual public/private pre-k enrollment

  • §89.1070. Graduation requirements


  • 2006 OSEP verification visit-provides a good overview of TX data collection and process for monitoring districts. Link in handouts

  • 2010 OSEP response to TX SPP and APR- TX is in “Needs Assistance” category for 2nd consecutive year because 2007 transition non-compliance was not corrected within one year. Also there was 2008 non-compliance for evaluations, monitoring complaints, hearings, IEPs by age 3 for children transitioning from Part C

EXIT (no 2007-2008 or later exit data)

2007 amended state regulation §89.1070:

A student receiving special education services may graduate and receive a regular high school diploma upon the ARD committee determining that the student no longer meets age eligibility requirements and has completed the requirements specified in the IEP.

TX Report on Completion and Drop-outs, Graduation

  • 2008-2009 report has very little data regarding special education students, and none of it is by disability category.

  • The graduation rate for students with disabilities jumped from 69% for 2007- 2008 to 77% in 2008-2009 probably because of the change in criteria. For students in ID category graduation with diploma is approximately 50%

EDUCATIONAL (2007-2008)

  • 67% of SwDsin regular class >80% of time

    58% is national average

    8% of students in ID category

    17% is national average

  • 20% of SwDsin regular class 40-79% of time

    21% is national average

    24% of students in ID category

    27% is national average


  • 12% of students in regular class <40% of time

    15% is national average

    65% of students in ID category

    46% is national average

  • 0.5% of students in a separate day school

    3.0% is national average

    2% of students in ID category

    6% is national average

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