June 20, 2007
Director of Communications
Public Information Officer
The U.S. Department of Education (USED) today recognized Virginia as one of a handful of states whose implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) meets the requirements of the law.
After evaluating the commonwealth's progress toward meeting the goals of its State Performance Plan, USED determined that Virginia is meeting the requirements and purposes of IDEA in five key areas, including
- Collecting and reporting valid and reliable data about the education and performance of students with disabilities
- Transitioning toddlers in need of special education services into the PK-12 system
- Providing supervision and correcting problems in school division special education programs
- Resolving complaints in a timely manner
- Adjudicating due-process complaints in a timely manner
"This recognition reflects Virginia's commitment to accountability for the education of students with disabilities," said Superintendent of Public Instruction Billy K. Cannaday Jr.
States and territories not earning a "meets requirements" designation were classified as "needs assistance," "needs intervention" or "needs substantial intervention" from USED to meet the requirements of IDEA. Only nine states, including Virginia, received "meets requirements" designations. Forty-one states and territories were classified as needing assistance and ten as needing intervention. No states or territories were listed as in need of substantial intervention.
IDEA, which was reauthorized by Congress in 2004, requires states and school divisions to ensure that children with disabilities receive educational services that meet their educational needs and prepare them for further education, employment and productive lives. IDEA also requires states to establish targets in their annual State Performance plans for achieving the objectives of the law.