Age at which Year FAPE Children Are Was Eligible for State Assured FAPE ------------------------------------------------------------------ Alabama 1991-92 3 Alaska 1974-75 3 Arizona 1991-92 3 Arkansas 1991-92 3 California 1991-92 3 Colorado 1991-92 3 Connecticut 1991-92 3 Delaware 1991-92 3 District of Columbia 1983-84 3 Florida 1991-92 3 Georgia 1991-92 3 Hawaii 1980-81 3 Idaho 1989-90 3 Illinois 1973-74 3 Indiana 1991-92 3 Iowa 1975-76 Birth Kansas 1991-92 3 Kentucky 1991-92 3 Louisiana 1977-78 3 Maine 1991-92 3 Maryland 1978-79 Birth Massachusetts 1976-77 3 Michigan 1973-74 Birth Minnesota 1986-87 Birth Mississippi 1991-92 3 Missouri 1991-92 3 Montana 1990-91 3 Nebraska 1977-78 Birth Nevada 1990-91 3 New Hampshire 1977-78 3 New Jersey 1983-84 3 New Mexico 1991-92 3 New York 1991-92 3 North Carolina 1991-92 3 North Dakota 1985-86 3 Ohio 1991-92 3 Oklahoma 1991-92 3 Oregon 1992-93 3 Pennsylvania 1991-92 3 Rhode Island 1976-77 3 South Carolina 1991-92 3 South Dakota 1976-77 3 Tennessee 1991-92 3 Texas 1974-75 3 Utah 1988-89 3 Vermont 1991-92 3 Virginia 1975-76 3 Virgin Islands 1981-82 3 Washington 1985-86 3 West Virginia 1991-92 3 Wisconsin 1973-74 3 Wyoming 1990-91 3 American Samoa 1977-78 Birth Federated States of Micronesia 1992-93 Birth Guam 1981-82 Birth Marshall Islands 1992-93 3 Palau 1989-90 Birth Puerto Rico 1985-86 Birth Northern Marianas 1990-91 3Note: The Bureau of Indian Affairs is not included in this table.
Source: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP).
States are awarded Preschool Grants Program funds based on the number of 3- through 5-year-old children with disabilities receiving special education and related services on December 1 of the previous year. Congress appropriated $339,257,000 in FY 1994 for the Preschool Grants Program, 4.1 percent more than the $324,773,000 appropriated in FY 1993.
The children with disabilities age 3 through 5 are also counted to generate funds under Section 611 of Part B. However, States are not obligated to use their Part B funds for the preschool population and, in fact, many States do not use their Part B funds for services to preschoolers. The preschool grants under Section 619 are the only funds that States are required to use to provide FAPE to children with disabilities age 3 through 5. Because the per child Part B award was $413, each State received approximately $1,122(the $709 Preschool Grants Program amount plus the Part B amount) under IDEA for every child age 3 through 5 with a disability receiving special education and related services on December 1, 1993. State-by-State grant awards for FY 1994 are shown in table AG1 in Appendix A.
Five-year-olds constituted 46 percent of the preschoolers receiving special education and related services under the Preschool Grants Program and Chapter 1 (SOP). Four-year-olds constituted 34 percent, and 3-year-olds 20 percent, of the preschoolers served by those programs in 1993-94. These proportions are consistent with trends reported in previous years.
During the 1992-93 school year nearly 19,000 FTE special education teachers were employed to serve students age 3 through 5 with disabilities, 8.0 percent more than in the 1991-92 school year (see table 2.8). The rate of increase in the number of FTE special education teachers was somewhat less than the rate of increase in the number of preschoolers with disabilities over the same time period (the number of preschoolers with disabilities increased by 8.4 percent between 1991-92 and 1992-93). States reported that an additional 2,209 FTE teachers were needed in the 1992-93 school year, 3 percent less than the number needed in 1991-92.
All Disabilities FTE Employed FTE Neededa/ ---------------------------------------------------------------- Alabama 249 44 Alaska 72 1 Arizona 225 9 Arkansas 90 11 California 1,843 59 Colorado 205 5 Connecticut 352 6 Delaware 86 6 District of Columbia 53 12 Florida 1,080 101 Georgia 498 33 Hawaii 95 1 Idaho 127 41 Illinois 716 12 Indiana 389 31 Iowa 389 37 Kansas 256 5 Kentucky 253 20 Louisiana 603 275 Maine 162 14 Maryland 311 3 Massachusetts 428 0 Michigan 934 46 Minnesota 636 130 Mississippi 208 18 Missouri 411 96 Montana 42 28 Nebraska 101 1 Nevada 95 10 New Hampshire 88 7 New Jersey 901 10 New Mexico 154 3 New York 948 307 North Carolina 694 206 North Dakota 114 10 Ohio 821 89 Oklahoma 156 12 Oregon 359 32 Pennsylvania 509 4 Puerto Rico 108 0 Rhode Island 72 0 South Carolina 200 44 South Dakota 142 3 Tennessee 316 5 Texas . 202 Utah 101 30 Vermont 105 0 Virginia 1,024 130 Washington 303 13 West Virginia 174 3 Wisconsin 713 34 Wyoming 49 2 American Samoa 15 1 Guam 5 4 Northern Marianas 5 3 Palau . . Virgin Islands 12 1 Bureau of Indian Affairs . . -------------------------------------------------------------- U.S. and Outlying Areas 18,997 2,209 50 States, D.C., and P.R. 18,960 2,200a/These figures include:(1) the number of unfilled vacancies in funded positions that occurred during the 1992-93 school year (12 months), and (2) the number of additional personnel that were needed during the 1992-93 school year (12 months) to fill positions occupied by persons who were not fully certified or licensed. These figures include additional personnel needed by public and private agencies.
Note: The total FTE for the U.S. and Outlying Areas and the 50 States, D.C., and Puerto Rico may not equal the sum of the individual States and Outlying Areas because of rounding.
Note: Please see data notes for an explanation of individual State differences.
Source: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, Data Analysis System (DANS).
Administering and Funding the Preschool Grants Program
The National Early Childhood Technical Assistance System (NEC*TAS) annually produces and disseminates a national profile of the implementation of the Preschool Grants Program (Heekin and Tollerton, 1994). This profile provides an overview of how States are implementing the program. The 1994 Profile presents information from all 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and seven Outlying Areas. However, not all respondents answered every question on this edition's questionnaire. The following information summarizes some of the key questions and responses from the 619 Profile.
In 43 of the 57 States or jurisdictions responding to a query concerning responsibility for administration, the Preschool Grants Program is administered by the SEA's special education unit. Seven administer the program within the SEA's early childhood unit but not within special education (Colorado, Connecticut, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio and Virginia). Six split responsibility for the program between special education and another unit, such as early childhood (Florida, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, Minnesota and Rhode Island). New Hampshire is unique in that special education teams are integrated into all units.
The Section 619 Profile provides information on how States use Preschool Grants Program funds. For example, according to the statute, States have options open to them for 25 percent of Preschool Grants Program funding. Five percent of Preschool Grants Program funding may be set aside for administration. Of the 53 States and jurisdictions reporting on how they use the set-aside, 43 use the full 5 percent for administration. Two use 4 percent, four use between 2 and 3 percent, and four use none. Administrative funds are typically used to provide State-level direction and leadership for preschool special education funding in States.
States and jurisdictions may set aside an additional 20 percent of Preschool Grants Program funding for State-level discretionary use. Allowable activities include planning and developing a statewide comprehensive service delivery system for children with disabilities from birth through age 5; providing direct and support services for children with disabilities age 3 through 5; and, at the State's discretion, providing FAPE to 2-year-old children with disabilities who will reach age 3 during the school year. In the 1994 Profile, 54 States and jurisdictions reported how these discretionary funds are used. Most of the SEAs (30) use the full 20 percent discretionary set-aside. Eight SEAs use between 15 and 19 percent; 4 use 10 to 14 percent; 4 use between 1 and 9 percent; and 7 use none. Discretionary funds are reported to be used most often for training and technical assistance. Consistent with previous years, other common uses include pilot programs, materials, planning/coordination, and direct services.
States and jurisdictions included in the NEC*TAS profile reported using 18 different funding sources in addition to Section 611 and Preschool Grants Program funds to finance preschool special education services. This year, States and jurisdictions reported much greater utilization of Federal Head Start funds. All 60 States and jurisdictions reported using Federal Head Start funds, and 15 reported using State Head Start funds. This is a vast increase over last year, when only 24 reported using Federal Head Start funds. Other common funding sources include State special education funds (41 States), Chapter 1 (SOP) funds (41 States), Medicaid (34 States), and Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) funds (33 States). Twenty-nine States or jurisdictions reported that they contribute financially to collaborative activities with other early childhood initiatives within the jurisdiction -- for example, collaboration with public awareness efforts.
Coordinating Part H and Preschool Programs
States and jurisdictions use a number of mechanisms to improve service delivery system coordination among programs that serve children with disabilities from birth through age 5. According to NEC*TAS, the Part H Interagency Coordination Council (ICC) works to improve coordination in 15 of the 57 States and jurisdictions that responded to this item. States and jurisdictions are required to include an SEA representative on the ICC. The representatives from the SEA most often included are the special education director or section chief for special education (23 jurisdictions) and the early childhood/special education coordinator (22 jurisdictions). SEA representatives also are involved in a variety of Part H ICC task forces, including those on personnel preparation (24 jurisdictions), transition (24 jurisdictions), and child find/public awareness activities (18 jurisdictions). Thirty-one States or jurisdictions reported that public awareness efforts are directed toward the entire birth through age 5 population.
Of the 50 States or jurisdictions responding to a query about the use of IFSPs instead of IEPs beyond age two, 23 are using or are considering using IFSPs for preschool services. Oregon and Maine use IFSPs on a statewide basis for all preschool services. Fifteen States or jurisdictions allow local discretion in IFSP use. Six are collecting data for future decision making.
SEA representatives also continue to focus on interagency collaboration strategies to help coordinate services within their States. Fifty-one States and jurisdictions responded to queries concerning collaborative activities such as interagency agreements, joint training, and planning and coordination. Interagency agreements occur most often with Head Start agencies (43 jurisdictions). Thirty-eight States or jurisdictions reported that an SEA representative is involved in the planning and coordination for Even Start programs. Thirty-six of 49 States or jurisdictions responding reported that an SEA representative is involved in planning and coordination of Child Care Developmental Block Grant activities, and 31 offer special considerations for children with disabilities in Child Care Developmental Block Grants activities. Twenty-seven offer joint training activities with the Child Care Developmental Block Grant program. Many States and jurisdictions also report collaboration in child find, public awareness, and/or training activities among such State agencies as Head Start, Developmental Disabilities, Health, Human/Social Services, and Health and Human Services.
Interagency agreements with Head Start continue to strengthen. Since the 1993 adoption of performance standards for services to children with disabilities in the Head Start program, 20 States and SEAs have revised or are in the process of revising their Head Start agreements. Some of the elements included in these revised agreements center on issues such as who is responsible for child identification, referral, assessment, evaluation, and placement; services and other fiscal responsibilities; FAPE and procedural safeguards; and information and data sharing. In addition, many Head Start activities have shifted focus. One element included in some SEA Head Start agreements is guidelines for LEA agreements. The results of the 1994 619 Profile indicate that in 13 States, LEAs and/or intermediate educational units (IEUs) have entered into agreements with local Head Start programs. The guidelines written at the State level may have been a contributing factor.
Transition from early intervention Part H programs to preschool programs continues to be an area of concern in some States. Many technical assistance activities have focused on the issue of transition. The statutory language is flexible on this issue, and State representatives have found that to be helpful for developing workable systems. In some States, successful systems have been developed. Of 47 States and jurisdictions responding to this NEC*TAS survey item, 22 have developed or are developing policies allowing Preschool Grants Program funds to be used for children transitioning into Part B programs before their third birthday. Twenty-two SEAs use their Preschool Grants Program discretionary funds for projects related to the transition of preschoolers into kindergarten or first grade. Twenty-two have developed or are developing agreements for transitions from preschool to kindergarten/first grade. Fifteen SEAs use those funds for transition from Head Start into public school.
Providing Preschool Services in Inclusive Environments
Providing special education services in inclusive settings has become an important national issue for children with disabilities of all ages. Implementing strategies that support inclusion for school-age children has been challenging. Doing so for children with disabilities age 3 through 5 is even more challenging for a number of reasons. The biggest barrier to providing services in inclusive settings is that most LEAs do not provide preschool programs for preschoolers without disabilities. Thus, it is difficult to place children with disabilities in settings that enable them to interact with peers who do not have disabilities while at the same time receiving the special education and related services required to meet their unique needs.
When addressing inclusion issues for preschool children with disabilities, States and jurisdictions have focused on strengthening traditional alliances with such programs as Head Start and creating new alliances with the child care and private nursery school organizations, as well as community-based programs. More recently SEAs have begun to develop a more inclusive approach to programming. The NEC*TAS profile reports that 30 SEAs have promoted inclusion, and 8 States have a preschool-specific inclusion statement (Connecticut, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, North Carolina, and Rhode Island). Thirteen States report that other State agencies also have a philosophy promoting inclusion.
Some SEAs have chosen to implement accreditation standards for preschool programs. Eleven SEAs report that they apply the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accreditation program or self-study project to LEA preschool programs. Nine use those standards for community-based preschools. Nine also reported that they have developed or are developing their own preschool accreditation or self-study process.
5 The Chapter 1 (SOP) program was not reauthorized under the Improving America's Schools Act that reauthorized ESEA. Beginning July 1, 1995, funding for services to all eligible children and youth age 3 through 21 will be provided under IDEA, Part B.