CEIS and Response to Intervention (RTI)
9. What is RTI?
There are a number of RTI frameworks, and while the Department does not endorse a particular RTI framework, several core characteristics tend to be present in RTI. These characteristics are: (1) high-quality, evidence-based instruction in general education settings; (2) screening of all students for academic and behavioral problems; (3) two or more levels (sometimes referred to as “tiers”) of instruction that are progressively more intense and based on the student’s response to instruction; and (4) continuous monitoring of student performance.
10. How may CEIS funds be used to implement RTI?
CEIS funds may be used to support RTI as long as the CEIS funds are used for services to nondisabled students in need of additional academic or behavioral support and supplement, not supplant, other funds used to implement RTI. For further information on the supplement not supplant requirements for CEIS, please see Question 24. LEAs must ensure that CEIS funds are used to provide services only to students who need additional academic and behavioral support, and not to students who currently receive special education and related services. See 34 CFR §300.226(a).
For example, one RTI framework includes a three-level continuum of instructional support. In this framework, tier one applies to all students in a general education setting. It would not be appropriate to use CEIS funds for tier one activities that support these students because these activities are designed to provide high-quality instruction to the entire class or school and not principally intended to address the needs of students who are struggling. Tier two activities provide specialized small group instruction for students determined to be at risk for academic and behavioral problems. It would be appropriate to use CEIS funds to support these tier two activities for at-risk, general education students. If students who are receiving special education and related services participate in the small group instruction, it would not be appropriate for CEIS funds to be used for these students as CEIS may not be provided to students that are currently identified as needing special education or related services. Tier three includes specialized individualized instructional or behavioral support for students with intensive needs. As in the case of tier two activities, CEIS funds could be used for activities that support general education students at risk for academic and behavioral problems, but could not be used for students who are receiving special education or related services.