Reauthorization of IDEA 2004 John Namkung Sonoma County SELPA May 20, 2005
Goal of the Presentation • Summary of major changes in IDEA • Definitions • Highly Qualified • Paperwork Reduction • Private School Children • Funding • Overidentification and Disproportionality • Early Intervening Services • Medication
Goal of the Presentation • Participation in Assessments • Evaluations/Reevaluations • Specific Learning Disabilities • IEP Content • IEP Team Attendance • IEP Amendments • Multi-Year IEPs • Transfer Students
Goal of the Presentation • Discipline • Attorneys’ Fees • Mediation/Dispute Resolution • Federal and State Monitoring • Optional Birth through Six Program
It’s Not Over ‘til It’s Over • Regulations to Clarify the Statute • Proposed regulations in May • Public hearing on June 22 in Sacramento • Final regulations by December • Alignment of California Education Code to IDEA 2004 • California’s Participation in Pilot Programs • Clarification from CTC regarding “Highly Qualified” Special Education Teacher
Resources • NASDSE Side by Side • www.nasdse.org • $15.00 • No electronic version • Namkung Side by Side • www.scoe.org/selpa • Electronic version available • Free!
Resources • Congressional Research Service Report for Congress • www.cde.ca.gov • IDEA Guide to Frequently Asked Questions • http://edworkforce.house.gov • Department of Education Topical Briefs on IDEA 2004 • www.cec.sped.org/cec_bn/briefs.html
State Rulemaking Requirements • Each State must identify in writing to LEAs any rule, regulation or policy as a State-imposed requirement that is not required by the Act and regulations. • Each State must minimize the number of rules, regulations, and policies to which LEAs and schools are subject.
Definitions • Assistive Technology Device • Excludes a medical device that is surgically implanted, or the replacement of such device • Does not exclude “mapping” of a cochlear implant • Parent • Adds “other relative” with whom the child is living • Related Services • Interpreting services • School nurse services • Ward of the State
Definitions • Highly Qualified • Requirements for Special Education teachers • Full State certification • No waivers • Minimum of a bachelor’s degree • Special Education teachers teaching to alternative standards • Meet NCLB requirements for elementary, middle or secondary school teacher; or • Meet NCLB requirements for elementary teacher, or for instruction above elementary level, has appropriate subject matter knowledge as determined by the State.
Definitions • Special Education teachers teaching multiple subjects • May meet NCLB requirements for any elementary, middle or secondary teacher who is new or not new to the profession; or • For teachers not new--demonstrate competence under NCLB which may include a single HOUSSE covering multiple subjects • For new teachers--demonstrate competence in other core academic subjects under NCLB which may include a single HOUSSE covering multiple subjects not later than 2 years after employment
Definitions • Special Education teachers who provide consultative services to a highly qualified teacher • No right of action for failure to be highly qualified • No individual consequences for failure to be highly qualified • Consequences for LEAs • Related personnel and paraprofessionals
Paperwork Reduction Pilot Program • 15 states • California interested • Waivers not to exceed 4 years • No waiver of civil rights requirements • May not affect right of child to receive FAPE • No waiver of procedural safeguards • Annual report to Congress beginning in 2006 with specific recommendations • Real meaning of IDEA
Funding • LEA Risk Pool • State option to establish high cost fund • Innovative and effective ways of cost sharing • Development of a state plan • Definition of high need child • Cost is greater than 3 times the average per pupil expenditure • Eligibility criteria for LEA participation • Funding mechanism
Funding • Authorization of Appropriations (What happened to mandatory full funding?) • $12,358,376,571 in 2005 • $14,648,647,143 in 2006 • $16,938,917,714 in 2007 • $19,229,188,286 in 2008 • $21,519,458,857 in 2009 • $23,809,729,429 in 2010 • $26,100,000,000 in 2011 • Saturday night massacre • $10,589,746 appropriated for 2005
Funding • Prohibition on states to use federal funds for COLA and growth • Impact on Governor’s budget for 2005-2006
Children in Private Schools • Major change in responsibility of district where the private school is located • New reporting requirements to the state • Major changes in consultation process • Determination of proportionate share of federal funds • Consultation process throughout school year • Provision of services • Disagreement between LEA and private schools • Written affirmation by representatives of private schools
Children in Private Schools • Complaint procedures • Complaint by private school official • Response by LEA • Appeal to the Secretary of Education
Charter School Students • Requirement to provide services on charter school site to the same extent as the LEA provides services on site to its other public schools • Must a charter school create a specialized program for a child?
Early Intervening Services • An LEA may use up to 15% of federal funds for early intervening services • Target population is K-3 students not identified for special education who need academic and behavioral support • Annual reporting requirements • # of students served • # of students served who subsequently receive special education services during preceding 2-year period
Evaluation Timelines • 60-day timeline for completion of evaluations or within state timelines • California’s 50 day timeline and exceptions • Exceptions to timelines • If child enrolls in different LEA after start of the evaluation and the new LEA is making sufficient progress on completing the evaluation, and parent and new LEA agree to a timeline; or • Parent repeatedly fails or refuses to produce the child for an evaluation
Absence of Parental Consent • If parent refuses consent for services, LEA may not go to due process hearing to override non-consent. • Does not refer to initial services • If parent refuses services or fails to respond to request to provide consent, the LEA is not considered in violation of providing FAPE. • LEA is not required to convene IEP meeting or develop an IEP--doesn’t make sense.
Consent for Wards of the State • LEA must make reasonable efforts to obtain informed consent for wards of the State who don’t reside with parents. • No informed consent required for initial evaluation from parent-- • If parents can’t be located • Rights of parents have been terminated • Rights of parents to make educational decisions have been subrogated and consent has been given by an individual appointed by the judge
Screenings • Screening to determine appropriate instructional strategies for curriculum implementation shall not be considered to be an evaluation for eligibility for special education. • What is a screening? • Will a screening for an individual child be allowed? If so, parental notice is important.
Prohibition on Mandatory Medication • A child may not be required to obtain a prescription for medication as a condition of attending school, receiving an evaluation or receiving services under IDEA.
Reevaluations • Reevaluations shall occur-- • Not more frequently than once a year, unless parent and LEA agree otherwise. • At least once every 3 years, unless the parent and LEA agree that a reevaluation is unnecessary. • Will school districts be barred from conducting a reevaluation if needed when a parent is threatening litigation and the school district has conducted an evaluation within the past year?
Assessments for Transfer Students • Assessments for students who transfer from one school district to another within same year must be completed as expeditiously as possible.
Eligibility Determination • A child may not be determined to be a child with a disability if the determinant factor is lack of appropriate instruction in reading, including the essential components of reading instruction as defined in NCLB.
Specific Learning Disabilities • In determining whether a child has SLD, an LEA shall not be required to consider whether the child has a severe discrepancy between achievement and intellectual ability. • An LEA may use a response to research-based intervention as part of the evaluation process.
Evaluations Before Change in Eligibility • Evaluation required before determining a child is no longer a child with a disability. • Exceptions-- • Evaluation not required before graduation with a diploma or before aging out of special education. • In such cases, an LEA shall provide the child with a summary of the child’s academic and functional performance, including recommendations on how to assist the child to meet postsecondary goals.
Contents of IEP • Benchmarks or short-term objectives only required for students who take alternate assessments aligned to alternate achievement standards • How about preschool children? • Progress reports toward meeting annual goals clarified. • Concurrent with the issuance of report cards.
Contents of IEP • Statement of services, based on peer-reviewed research to the extent practicable. • Statement of transition services beginning at age 14 is changed to age 16. • Nothing in IDEA shall be construed to require that additional information be included in an IEP beyond what is explicitly required in the law.
IEP Team Attendance • A member of the IEP team is not required to attend in whole or in part-- • If the parent and the LEA agree that his/her attendance is not necessary because the member’s area of curriculum or related service is not being modified or discussed at the meeting. • Parent’s agreement must be in writing.
IEP Team Attendance • A member of the IEP team may be excused when the meeting involves a modification to or discussion of the member’s area of curriculum or related service if-- • The parent and the LEA agree. Parent consent must be in writing. • The members submits written input into the development of the IEP. • Invitation to the initial IEP meeting must be sent, at parent request, to the part C coordinator or representative.
Transfer Students • Within the same state • LEA must provide comparable services, in consultation with the parents until the new LEA adopts the previous IEP, or develops and implements a new IEP. • Transfer outside the state • LEA must provide comparable services, in consultation with the parents until the new LEA conducts an evaluation, if necessary, and develops a new IEP, if appropriate.
Transfer Students • Transmittal of records • New school must take reasonable steps to promptly obtain school records from the previous school. • Previous school must take reasonable steps to promptly respond to request for records.
Changes to the IEP • In making changes to the IEP after the annual IEP, the parents and LEA may agree not to convene an IEP meeting to make the changes, and instead may develop a written document to amend or modify the IEP. • Include the process for reaching agreement. • Changes may be made by amending the IEP rather than redrafting the entire IEP. Upon request, the parent shall be given a revised copy of the IEP with the amendments incorporated.
Multi-Year IEP Pilot Program • 15 states may be authorized • Multi-year IEP not to exceed 3 years and designed to coincide with natural transition points • Periods close in time to transition from preschool to elementary, elementary to middle school, middle to secondary school, secondary school to post-secondary activities • Optional for parents • Parent consent is required
Multi-Year IEP Pilot Program • Content of multi-year IEP • Measurable goals coinciding with natural transition points • Measurable annual goals for determining progress • Description of process for review and revision of each multi-year IEP
Multi-Year IEP Pilot Program • Review of multi-year IEP • At each natural transition point • In other years, an annual review of the IEP to determine level of progress • If child is not making sufficient progress, the IEP team must carry out a more thorough review of the IEP within 30 calendar days. • At parent request, the IEP team must conduct a review of the multi-year IEP rather than or subsequent to an annual review. • Will California submit a proposal?
Alternative IEP Meeting Participation • Parents and LEA may agree to alternative means of meeting participation, such as video conferences and conference calls for- • IEP team meetings • Placement meetings • Meetings to carry out administrative matters (scheduling, exchange of witness lists, and status conferences)
Due Process Complaints • 2-year statute of limitations for due process hearing request or filing of complaint • California has 3-year statute of limitations • Clarification regarding LEA requirement to provide due process complaint notice to parents
Due Process Complaints • Due process complaint notice deemed sufficient unless the party receiving the notice notifies the hearing officer and the other party that the notice has not meet the requirements. • Notice to hearing officer must be provided within 15 days of receiving the complaint. • Within 5 days of receipt of the notification, the hearing officer must make a determination and notify the parties in writing.
Due Process Complaints • If the LEA has not sent a prior written notice regarding the subject of the hearing request, it must do so within 10 days of receiving the complaint. • Non-complaining party must send to the complainant a response that specifically addresses the issues raised in the complaint within 10 days, except as provided above.
Due Process Complaints • A party may amend the due process complaint only if-- • The other party consents in writing and is given the opportunity to resolve the complaint through a resolution session; or • The hearing officer grants permission, except he/she may only grant permission at any time not later than 5 days before the due process hearing.
Procedural Safeguards Notice • Copy of procedural safeguards notice to be given to parents only one time a year, except a copy must be given-- • Upon initial referral or parental request for evaluation • Upon the first filing of a due process complaint • Upon request by the parent. • Give to all current parents, effective July 1, 2005 • LEA may place procedural safeguards notice on its internet website.
Procedural Safeguards Notice • Procedural safeguards notice must include-- • Time period in which to make due process complaints • The opportunity for the LEA to resolve the complaint • Time periods in which to file civil actions • Electronic mail--Parents may elect to receive any notices required under the procedural safeguards section of IDEA by e-mail, if the LEA makes such option available.
Mediation Agreements • In cases of a resolution of a dispute through mediation, the parties must execute a legally binding agreement that-- • Is signed by both parties • Is enforceable in any State or district court • States that all discussion is confidential and may not be used as evidence in any subsequent hearing or civil proceeding
Resolution Session • Prior to a due process hearing, the LEA must convene a meeting of parents and relevant member(s) of the IEP team-- • Within 15 days of receiving the notice of the parents’ complaint • Must include an LEA representative with decision making authority • May not include an LEA attorney unless the parent brings an attorney
Resolution Session • The LEA is given the opportunity to resolve the complaint • The meeting is not required if the parents and the LEA agree in writing to waive the meeting or agree to use a separate mediation process. • If there is no resolution of the complaint within 30 days of the receipt of the complaint, the due process hearing may occur. • If resolved, a written settlement agreement must be executed. • No mention of confidentiality of meeting • Either party may void the agreement with 3 business days