DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
SUPTS. MEMO NO. 103
May 12, 2006
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Patricia I. Wright
Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction
The purpose of this memo is to provide information on steps the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is taking to implement the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004), Public Law 108-446, with regard to the development of and submission of a State Performance Plan (SPP).
Section 616 (b) of the reauthorized IDEA, requires states to develop and submit a State Performance Plan (SPP) to the U.S. Department of Education (USED). States are required to focus primarily on specific activities for:
- improving educational results and functional outcomes for all children with disabilities; and
- ensuring that States meet the program requirements with a particular emphasis on those requirements that are most closely related to improving educational results for children with disabilities.
In addition, this section of the IDEA requires States to monitor local educational agencies (LEAs) using quantifiable indicators to adequately measure performance in each of the following three priority areas:
- provision of a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment;
- state exercise of general supervisory authority, including child find, effective monitoring, the use of resolution sessions, mediation, and a system of transition services; and
- disproportionate representation of racial and ethnic groups in special education and related services, to the extent the representation is the result of inappropriate identification.
Several of the indicators will require the department to collect new data from school divisions, including information resulting from parent and student surveys. School divisions will be informed once the department has specifics from the USED on which data will need to be collected and how to report these data.
In order to meet these new requirements under the IDEA 2004, a subcommittee of a stakeholder group is working with the departments monitoring specialists to redesign the states monitoring system to focus primarily on the requirements of the SPP. It should be noted that VDOE is still required to monitor school divisions for compliance with all regulatory and procedural requirements under the IDEA.
Finally, as required in the reauthorized IDEA, starting in 2007, states must report annually to the public on the performance of each school division on the targets in the SPP. Again, school divisions will be informed once the department has specifics on which data will be reported to the public and how the data will be reported.
VDOE staff members have provided school division special education staff information about the State Performance Plan requirements and will continue to do so through meetings and electronic communications as more information becomes available from the U.S. Department of Education.
The revised plan is available for review at the Office of Special Education and Student Services page on the Department of Educations website (www.doe.virginia.gov/VDOE/).
Questions related to
Copy: local Directors of Special Education