The U.S. Department of Education (USED) this month recognized Virginia as meeting the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
After evaluating the commonwealth’s progress toward meeting the goals of its annual 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
“I’d like to thank our school divisions for their diligence in carrying out the requirements of IDEA and for making sure that students with disabilities in Virginia receive the quality instruction and services they need to succeed,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright said. “The Virginia Department of Education is committed to collaborating with school divisions to create new opportunities for learning and to improve educational outcomes for students with disabilities.”
Forty-one states and US territories, including Virginia, received “meets requirements” designations.
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.
Sixteen states and territories were classified as needing assistance and two 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.