Since enactment of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975, Public Law (P.L.) 94-142, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Education (secretary) [and predecessor, the commissioner of education at the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare] has been required to transmit to Congress an annual report to inform Congress and the public of the progress being made in implementing the act. The annual reports to Congress reflect a history of persistent commitment and effort to expand educational opportunities for children with disabilities.
In December 2004, Congress reauthorized the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ( IDEA) (P.L. 108-446). The provisions of the act became effective on July 1, 2005, with the exception of some of the elements pertaining to the definition of a “highly qualified teacher” that took effect upon the signing of the act. With reauthorization of IDEA, the nation reaffirmed its commitment to improving educational results for children and youths with disabilities.
The 30th Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 2008* describes our nation’s progress
The report focuses on the children and students with disabilities being served under IDEA, Part C or B, nationally and at the state level. In particular, Part C of IDEA provides funds to states to assist them in developing and implementing statewide, comprehensive, coordinated, multidisciplinary interagency systems to make early intervention services available to all children from birth through age 2 with disabilities and their families, whereas Part B of IDEA provides funds to states to assist them in providing FAPE to children ages 3 through 21 with disabilities who are in need of special education and related services. Throughout this report, infants and toddlers served under IDEA, Part C, children served under IDEA, Part B, and students served under IDEA, Part B, refer to individuals with disabilities who receive services under IDEA, Part C or Part B. “Special education services,” which is referenced throughout this report, is a term that is synonymous with services provided under IDEA, Part B.
This 30th Annual Report to Congress, 2008 follows the 29th Annual Report to Congress, 2007 in sequence and continues to focus on IDEA results and accountability. However, the design of this report differs from that of the 29th Annual Report in a number of ways.
A summary of the six sections and three appendices that make up the 30th Annual Report follows.
Section I contains national data pertinent to Parts C and B of IDEA. It contains four subsections. The four subsections focus on infants and toddlers served under IDEA, Part C; children ages 3 through 5 served under IDEA, Part B; students ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B; and children and students ages 3 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B. The tables and figures provide information about the characteristics of children and students receiving services under Parts C and B, their disabilities, the settings in which they receive services, their transitions as they move from early childhood through elementary and secondary school and into adult life and their disciplinary removals. Also addressed are the characteristics of the personnel employed to provide special education and related services for the children and students. To the extent possible, the data are presented through tables, figures and bulleted text. Data are included for the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the outlying areas (i.e., American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands). In addition, the report presents data for special education and related services provided under IDEA, Part B, for Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools.
Section II contains state-level data regarding Part C and Part B of IDEA. Similar to Section I, this section is organized into four subsections. The first subsection presents information about infants and toddlers birth through age 2 served under IDEA, Part C, while the second and third subsections present information about children ages 3 through 5 and students ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, respectively. The fourth subsection provides information about children and students ages 3 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B. The subsections address questions about the characteristics of children and students receiving services under Parts C and B, their disabilities, the settings in which they receive services, their transitions as they move from early childhood through elementary and secondary school and into adult life and their disciplinary removals. Also addressed are the characteristics of the personnel employed to provide special education and related services for the children and students. The data presented in tables and discussed in the bulleted text represent the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Section 616(d) of IDEA requires the secretary to make an annual determination as to whether each state’s Part B and Part C programs are meeting the requirements of the statute. To fulfill this requirement, the secretary considers each state’s State Performance Plan (SPP) and Annual Performance Report (APR). Based on the information provided by the state in the SPP and APR, information obtained through monitoring visits and any other public information made available, the secretary determines if the state meets the requirements and purposes of IDEA, needs assistance in implementing the requirements, needs intervention in implementing the requirements or needs substantial intervention in implementing the requirements. In June 2007, the Department issued the first determination letters on implementation of IDEA to 60 state education agencies for Part B and to 56 lead agencies for Part C. Section III presents the results of the determinations.
When Congress reauthorized IDEA in December 2004, it amended the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-279) by adding a new Part E to that act. The new Part E established the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) as part of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). NCSER began operation on July 1, 2005. As specified in section 175(b) of the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002, NCSER’s mission is to
In the December 2004 reauthorization of IDEA, Congress required the secretary to delegate to the director of IES responsibility to carry out studies and evaluations authorized in section 664(a), (b) and (c) of IDEA. As specified in section 664(a) of IDEA, IES funds, either directly or through grants, contracts or cooperative agreements awarded to eligible entities on a competitive basis, activities that assess the progress in the implementation of IDEA, including the effectiveness of state and local efforts to provide
As specified in section 664(c) of IDEA, IES is required to carry out a national study or studies that will inform efforts to ensure accountability for students who are held to alternative achievement standards. This section describes the studies and evaluations authorized by sections 664(a) and (c) of IDEA and supported by IES with FY 2007 funds.
Under section 664(b) of IDEA (as amended in 2004), IES is responsible for carrying out a “national assessment” of activities carried out with federal funds under IDEA. IES is carrying out this national assessment to:
The national assessment is designed to address specific research questions that focus on:
Appendix A presents the number and percentage of the population of infants and toddlers birth through age 2 served under IDEA, Part C, children ages 3 through 5 served under IDEA, Part B, students ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, and students ages 14 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, in 2006, by state (including the District of Columbia, BIE schools, Puerto Rico and the four outlying areas).
Appendix B presents information on states that reported students ages 6 through 9 served under IDEA, Part B, under the category of developmental delay. It also provides child count data on students ages 6 through 9 classified with developmental delay, percentage of population data on children ages 6 through 9 and information on the relative likelihood of being served under IDEA, Part B, for developmental delay by race/ethnicity.
Appendix C presents information on eight states that reported children and students ages 3 through 21 with other health impairments and multiple disabilities in different categories for IDEA, Part B, child count and educational environments data collections in 2006 and the exiting and discipline data collections for 2005–06.
* The year in the title reflects the U.S. Department of Education’s target year for submitting the report to Congress. The most current findings are based on data collected from July 2005 through December 2006.
† 618 data consists of:
‡ This descriptor and other section 618 data descriptors in this report are italicized within table and figure titles, text and notes to clarify that the reference is to a grouping of data.