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OSERS: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
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RSA: State Monitoring and Program Improvement Division (SMPID)

The State Monitoring and Program Improvement Division (SMPID) is responsible for state plan review and approval, and for monitoring five RSA formula grant programs to ensure consistency with federal requirements and to ensure that states continue to implement programs designed to improve results for individuals with disabilities, including youth with disabilities.

SMPID is divided into functional units and state teams. Each person in the division participates on both.



Functional Units

The functional units carry out activities that enable the state teams to monitor and assist states to improve their programs. Each functional unit has a unit chief with supervisory responsibilities over persons who serve in the unit. Each functional unit chief is an expert in the functional area and is responsible for not only accomplishing the purpose of the unit, but also developing skills and expertise in each of the unit members. Each staff person in the division is assigned to one of the four functional units and works with the unit to carry out the purposes of the unit.


       •  Data Collection and Analysis
         

    In performing their responsibilities, staff members:

    • review and improve RSA’s various databases and work with state agencies to maintain RSA’s various databases on all state grantees enabling the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program Unit to develop individual profiles of each state grantee;
    • support the vocational rehabilitation program unit in the development of the program performance profiles;
    • develop and implement the annual evaluation plan; and
    • provide support to state teams in their data analysis activities.


       •  Fiscal
         
    • develop and maintain a fiscal performance data profile of each state grantee,
    • improve and maintain a fiscal monitoring process that state teams will use to determine if state grantees are meeting their fiscal obligations under their respective statutes,
    • oversee the resolution of audit findings (single audits, inspector general audits, Government Accountability Office reports) including grantbacks, primary and collateral determinations,
    • support the fiscal monitoring reviews and audit resolution activities carried out by the state teams,
    • monitor formula grant matching requirements and computes maintenance of effort, and
    • apply statutory requirements for the allotment of funds for rehabilitation programs.


       •  Vocational Rehabilitation (VR)
         

    In performing their responsibilities, staff members:

    • develop and maintain a program performance profile on each vocational rehabilitation (VR) state grantee that includes an organizational description of how each agency operates;
    • develop and implement systems for the review of state plan submissions, for coordinating with other offices as necessary;
    • improve and maintain the VR state grant monitoring process used by state teams to identify improvements that VR state grantees should make in order to improve their performance and meet their program obligations;
    • support the state teams in their state plan approval, monitoring processes and program improvement efforts;
    • in coordination with the OSERS’ Office of the Assistant Secretary (OAS) Office of Policy and Planning (OPP), participate in the development and dissemination of policy guidance, regulations and program guidance in all areas of responsibility;
    • coordinate with the department in implementation of the department’s integrated monitoring activities;
    • develop program performance measures, which are used to evaluate and monitor grantees;
    • provide technical assistance to the state grant programs in the Training and Service Programs Division; and
    • administer the basic VR state grants and the supported employment state grants.


       •  Technical Assistance (TA)
         

    In performing their responsibilities, staff members:

    • identify and develop and maintain a database of technical assistance (TA) resources;
    • identify and develop networks of partners in each state made up of consumers, providers, state agency representatives, state rehabilitation councils, federal agencies and any other interested parties that wish to participate in the state teams monitoring and program improvement activities;
    • provide technical assistance to state network partners to improve their understanding of the legal and program requirements of the statutes;
    • collaborate with the Training and Service Programs Divisions’ units to identify resources that will assist grantees in their program improvement efforts;
    • provide support to state teams in their efforts to achieve identified improvements in each state;
    • provide technical assistance to grantees funding by the Training and Service Programs Division in order to improve the skills of vocational rehabilitation (VR) professionals in assisting individuals with disabilities to achieve employment;
    • administer funds authorized under Section 12 of the Rehabilitation Act to provide technical assistance and support services to programs funded under the Act;
    • administer the Client Assistance Program and the Protection and Advocacy of Individual Rights program;
    • administer the Institute on Rehabilitation Research (IRI) and use the IRI training materials to improve the skills of VR professionals and other stakeholders in the public VR programs; and
    • participate in interagency workgroups with the Department of Labor and the Social Security Administration in order to fully implement the Workforce Investment Act and to improve the employment of individuals with disabilities.


State Teams

There is a state team assigned to every state and that state team is responsible for all of the SMPID’s formula grantees that operate in that state. A designated state team member (state liaison) who does not have supervisory responsibility chairs the work of the state team. The state liaison leads and organizes the activities of the state team and includes representatives from consumers, providers, state agency personnel, and other interested parties. A state teams coordinator with non-supervisory responsibility with the state team assists and coordinates the activities of all the state team.

Each state is assigned a state team and each state team is made up of one or more persons from each of the functional units. With the exception of the last item, the state teams work collaboratively with consumers, providers, state agencies, and any other interested parties to carry out the following activities:

  • implement a continuous process of performance-based program and fiscal monitoring to identify areas of improvement as well as areas of noncompliance that require corrective action by the grantee;
  • develop and issue annual reports, carry out periodic on-site reviews and other monitoring activities required by statute;
  • provide technical assistance to all grantees to assist them to make the improvements and take corrective actions identified in the monitoring process;
  • review and approve VR state plans including preparing state plan approval letters, providing appropriate technical assistance to states to ensure consistency with federal requirements and a timely release of federal funds;
  • provide policy guidance to grantees;
  • review and approve Client Assistance Program and Protection and Advocacy of Individual Rights state assurances; and
  • carry out audit resolution activities including single audits, Inspector General audits, grantbacks, primary and collateral determinations.

See also the list of designated State Liaisons for each state and territory. The list can be found at https://rsa.ed.gov/people.cfm

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Last Modified: 03/29/2017