A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

To Assure the Free Appropriate Public Education of all Children with Disabilities - 1995

Preface

Each year, the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) collects and analyzes information to assess the extent to which all students with disabilities are receiving a free, appropriate public education, as ensured by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This Seventeenth Annual Report to Congress is designed to consolidate and communicate the results of those information collections and analyses. It contains seven chapters and a number of appendices. Two topics that are discussed in this year's Annual Report are the provision of services to students with disabilities in inclusive settings and the educational results of students with disabilities. Key aspects of these issues are included in the Executive Summary.

Chapter 1 begins with a brief description of IDEA. Then, the Formula Grants Program section describes the financial assistance provided to States educating children and youth with disabilities under two Federal programs, Part B and Chapter 1 (SOP), during the 1993-94 school year. The chapter also includes data on the numbers of students receiving special education and related services, the types of disabilities they have, the settings in which they are educated and some of the benefits of serving students in inclusive environments, and the bases by which they leave special education. The results of the pilot test of the Performance Assessment for Self-Sufficiency (PASS) instrument and expert system for reporting data on anticipated service needs is also included. Finally, the number of staff who provide special education and related services, and the number of additional personnel needed, is reported.

Chapter 2 provides information on the role of the IDEA, Part H and Preschool Grants Program in meeting the needs of infants and toddlers and their families and preschoolers with disabilities. The chapter has three main sections. First, the implementation of the Part H program for infants and toddlers with disabilities is described. Included in this section is information about State allocations, the number of eligible infants and toddlers served, the settings utilized, and the number of personnel employed and needed. Implementation issues related to refining data collection systems and a wide range of coordination efforts are also discussed. Second, the number of children age 3 through 5 served by the Preschool Grants Program, the number of personnel employed and needed, and the educational placements used are reported. Several implementation issues are also highlighted. Third, the discretionary programs and research projects sponsored by OSEP to address the needs of young children and their families, including the Early Education Program for Children with Disabilities (EEPCD), are described.

Chapter 3 examines the relationship between the secondary school experiences of students with disabilities and their accomplishments in the three years after leaving secondary school. The chapter is based on the congressionally mandated National Longitudinal Transition Study (NLTS) that was completed for OSEP by SRI International. The chapter begins with a description of the secondary school experiences of these students and policy suggestions that support inclusion, and concludes with a description of four post-school results for these students: participation in postsecondary programs, employment, independent living, and participation in their communities.

Chapter 4 is based on activities completed by the National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO). It focuses on NCEO's ongoing analyses of current State and national assessment practices for students with disabilities. The chapter describes recent developments in State assessments of students with disabilities, the 1992 National Adult Literary Survey (NALS) data collection efforts, and the plans of the National Center for Education Statistics to improve the inclusion of students with disabilities in national education data collection efforts.

Chapter 5 reports on the work of the Center for Special Education Finance (CSEF), which is one of several research centers funded by OSERS. The chapter summarizes some of CSEF's research during its first two years of operations (FY 1993 and FY 1994). The three sections in this chapter focuses on: (1) Federal funding for special education services, including a historical overview of Federal legislation; (2) State special education funding, with an emphasis on State finance reform efforts that include fiscal policies that foster inclusion; and (3) a case study of a State-level cost analysis project.

Chapter 6 describes OSEP efforts to assist States and local school districts in educating students with disabilities. The chapter describes the three-year staggered State plan review process and the ongoing implementation of State Plan Academies to provide training to key staff members from SEAs that are to submit plans. The chapter also reports the results of compliance reviews.

Chapter 7 contains a review of the literature on the provision of services to students with disabilities in rural areas. This chapter is one of a series of reviews addressing the unique needs of special populations with disabilities, begun in the Fourteenth Annual Report to Congress. Information from several data sources was used to describe the number and characteristics of students with disabilities in rural areas, the factors affecting the provision of special education to these students, and the types of services that were offered.

In addition to the report's seven chapters, a series of appendices are included. Appendix A is composed of data tables on child count, educational environment, personnel, exiting, population and enrollment, and fiscal awards. Tables presenting data on the number of individuals trained by OSEP-funded personnel training projects constitute Appendix B. Appendices C and D contain summaries and abstracts of studies conducted under the State Agency/Federal Evaluation Studies (SAFES) program. Appendix E contains data on services for children and youth with deaf-blindness. Appendix F provides profiles of OSEP's program agenda. Appendix G contains a summary of Regional Resource Center activities. Appendix H contains a summary of the activities and results reported by the grantees from the State Systems Change Transition Grants. Appendix I describes the activities of the Parent Training and Information Centers. Appendix J reports on the activities of three OSEP-funded information clearinghouses. Finally, Appendix K describes a Knowledge Utilization Plan to promote and facilitate the use of information for program improvement.
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