Preface to the 41st Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Parts B and C. 2019



Preface

Since the enactment of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 (EHA), Public Law (P.L.) 94‑142 and its successor statute, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA,or Act), the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education (Secretary) and her predecessor, the Commissioner of Education at the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, have 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.

The most recent reauthorization of IDEA (P.L. 108-446) occurred in December 2004, and Section 664(d) of IDEA continues to require the annual report to Congress. With the reauthorization of IDEA, the nation reaffirmed its commitment to improving the early intervention and educational results and functional outcomes for infants, toddlers, children, and youths with disabilities (collectively, this group may be referred to in this report as “children with disabilities”).

The 41st Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20191 describes our nation’s progress in:

  1. providing a free appropriate public education (FAPE) for children with disabilities under IDEA, Part B, and early intervention services to infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families under IDEA, Part C;

  2. ensuring that the rights of these children with disabilities and their parents are protected;

  3. assisting States and localities in providing IDEA services to all children with disabilities; and

  4. assessing the effectiveness of efforts to provide IDEA services to children with disabilities.

The report focuses on children with disabilities being served under IDEA, Part B and Part C, nationally and at the State level. Part B of IDEA provides funds to States to assist them in making FAPE available to eligible children ages 3 through 21 with disabilities who are in need of special education and related services, whereas 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 eligible children from birth through age 2 with disabilities and their families.2

Throughout this report, children with disabilities who receive services under IDEA, Part B, or under IDEA, Part C, are referred to as children served under IDEA, Part B; students served under IDEA, Part B; or infants and toddlers served under IDEA, Part C. “Special education services” is a term used throughout this report to represent services provided under IDEA, Part B. Similarly, “early intervention services” is a term used synonymously with services provided under IDEA, Part C.

This 41st Annual Report to Congress, 2019 follows the 40th Annual Report to Congress, 2018 in sequence and format, and it continues to focus on IDEA results and accountability. Similar to the 40th Annual Report to Congress, 2018, the 41st Annual Report to Congress, 2019 contains the following six major sections that address the annual report requirements contained in Section 664(d) of IDEA. The sections are

  1. a summary and analysis of IDEA Section 618 data at the national level;

  2. a summary and analysis of IDEA Section 618 data at the State level;3

  3. a summary and analysis of the U.S. Department of Education’s (Department’s) findings and determinations regarding the extent to which States are meeting the requirements of IDEA, Part B and Part C;

  4. a summary of special education research conducted under Part E of the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002;

  5. a summary of national special education studies and evaluations conducted under Section 664(a) and (c) of IDEA; and

  6. a summary of the extent and progress of the assessment of national activities, which focus on determining the effectiveness of IDEA and improving its implementation.

The content of this report differs from that of the 40th Annual Report to Congress, 2018 in several ways. The most recent data presented in this report represent the following applicable reporting periods: fall 2017, school year 2016–17, or a 12-month reporting period during 2016–17. Where data are presented for a 10-year period, the oldest data are associated with fall 2008. Due to changes in the Children with Disabilities [IDEA] Early Childhood and Children with Disabilities [IDEA] School Age data collection file specifications, the data collection terms limited English proficient students and LEP students have been replaced with the term English learner(s), when referring to data collected in the 2017–18 school year. When referring to data collected prior to the 2017–18 school year, the terms limited English proficient students and LEP students are still used in this report. All three terms have the same underlying meaning and have been used for the same data collection purposes.

A summary of each of the six sections and three appendices that make up the 41st Annual Report to Congress, 2019 follows.

Section I. Summary and Analysis of IDEA Section 618 Data at the National Level

Section I contains national data pertinent to Part B and Part C 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 exhibits provide information about the characteristics of infants, toddlers, children, and students receiving services under Part B and Part C; their disabilities; the settings in which they receive services; their participation in and performance on State assessments; their exits from Part B and Part C programs; their disciplinary removals; and their legal disputes. 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 the exhibits and discussed in the bulleted text represent the 50 States, the District of Columbia (DC), the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico herein), and the four outlying areas of American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (the Northern Mariana Islands herein), and the Virgin Islands. In addition, the exhibits that concern special education and related services provided under IDEA, Part B, include data for Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools operated or funded by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the three freely associated states: the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

Section II. Summary and Analysis of IDEA Section 618 Data at the State Level

Section II contains State-level data regarding Part B and Part C of IDEA. This section is organized into four subsections which 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. Each subsection addresses questions about the characteristics of infants, toddlers, children, and students receiving services under Part B and Part C; their disabilities; the settings in which they receive services; their participation in State assessments; their exits from Part B and Part C programs; their disciplinary removals; and their legal disputes. The characteristics of the personnel employed to provide special education and related services for the children and students are also addressed. The data presented in exhibits and discussed in the bulleted text represent the 50 States, the District of Columbia, BIE schools, and Puerto Rico.

Section III. Findings and Determinations Resulting From Reviews of State Implementation of IDEA

Sections 616(d) and 642 of IDEA require the Secretary to make an annual determination as to the extent to which each State’s Part B and Part C programs are meeting the requirements of IDEA. To fulfill this requirement, the Secretary considers the State performance plan (SPP)/annual performance report (APR) of each State. Based on the information provided by the State in the SPP/APR, information obtained through monitoring reviews, 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 2018, the Department issued the determination letters on implementation of IDEA for Federal fiscal year (FFY) 2016 to 60 State education agencies (SEAs) for Part B and to 56 State lead agencies for Part C. Section III presents the results of the determinations.

Section IV. Summary of Research Conducted Under Part E of the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002

When Congress reauthorized IDEAin 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—

  • Sponsor research to expand knowledge and understanding of the needs of infants, toddlers, children, and students with disabilities in order to improve the developmental, educational, and transitional results of such individuals;

  • Sponsor research to improve services provided under, and support the implementation of, IDEA [20 United States Code (U.S.C.) § 1400 et seq.]; and

  • Evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of IDEA in coordination with the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance.

Section IV of this report describes the research projects funded by grants made during FFY 2018 (October 1, 2017, through September 30, 2018) by NCSER under Part E of the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002.

Section V. Summary of Studies and Evaluations Under Section 664 of IDEA

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 under Section 664(a), (b), and (c) of IDEA. As specified in Section 664(a) of IDEA, IES, either directly or through grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements awarded to eligible entities on a competitive basis, assesses the progress in the implementation of IDEA, including the effectiveness of State and local efforts to provide

  1. FAPE to children and students with disabilities and

  2. early intervention services to infants and toddlers with disabilities and infants and toddlers who would be at risk of having substantial developmental delays if early intervention services were not provided to them.

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 alternate achievement standards. This section describes the studies and evaluations authorized by Section 664(a) and (c) of IDEA and supported by IES during FFY 2018 (October 1, 2017, through September 30, 2018).

Section VI. Extent and Progress of the Assessment of National Activities

Under Section 664(b) of IDEA (as amended in 2004), the Secretary is responsible for carrying out a “national assessment” of activities supported by Federal funds under IDEA. As delegated by the Secretary, IES is carrying out this national assessment to

  1. determine the effectiveness of IDEA in achieving its purpose;

  2. provide timely information to the President, Congress, the States, local education agencies (LEAs), and the public on how to implement IDEA more effectively; and

  3. provide the President and Congress with information that will be useful in developing legislation to achieve the purposes of IDEA more effectively.

The national assessment is designed to address specific research questions that focus on:

  1. the implementation and impact of programs assisted under IDEA in addressing developmental and academic outcomes for children with disabilities;

  2. identification for early intervention and special education;

  3. early intervention and special education services; and

  4. early intervention and special education personnel. Studies supported in FFY 2018 (October 1, 2017, through September 30, 2018) that contribute to the national assessment are described in Section VI.

Appendix A. Infants, Toddlers, Children, and Students Served Under IDEA, by Age Group and State

Appendix A presents the numbers and percentages of the resident population represented by the infants and toddlers birth through age 2 served under IDEA, Part C, in 2017 in each State, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the four outlying areas (American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the Virgin Islands) and the children ages 3 through 5 and students ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, in 2017 in each State, the District of Columbia, BIE schools, Puerto Rico, the four outlying areas, and the three freely associated states (the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands). It also presents the number of children and students served in each State, the District of Columbia, BIE schools, Puerto Rico, the four outlying areas, and the three freely associated states, by race/ethnicity.

Appendix B. Developmental Delay Data for Children Ages 3 Through 5 and Students Ages 6 Through 9 Served Under IDEA, Part B

Appendix B presents information about the children ages 3 through 5 and students ages 6 through 9 served under IDEA, Part B, under the category of developmental delay.4 Exhibits B-1 and B-2 provide data on the percentages of resident populations in the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico represented by the children ages 3 through 5 and students ages 6 through 9 served under IDEA, Part B, who were reported under the category of developmental delay, respectively, in each year, 2008 through 2017. Exhibit B-3 identifies whether each State, the District of Columbia, BIE schools, Puerto Rico, the four outlying areas, and the three freely associated states reported any children ages 3 through 5 or any students ages 6 through 9 under the developmental delay category in 2017.

Appendix C. IDEA, Part B Maintenance of Effort (MOE) Reduction and Coordinated Early Intervening Services

Appendix C presents State-level information on the number of students who received coordinated early intervening services (CEIS) and the number and percentage of LEAs and educational service agencies (ESAs) that were required to reserve 15 percent of IDEA Sections 611 and 619 funds for comprehensive CEIS due to significant disproportionality or that voluntarily reserved up to 15 percent of IDEA Sections 611 and 619 funds for CEIS. In addition, State-level data are presented on the number and percentage of LEAs and ESAs that met the IDEA, Part B, requirements under 34 Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) § 300.600(a)(2) and had an increase in IDEA, Part B, Section 611 allocations and took the maintenance of effort (MOE) reduction pursuant to IDEA Section 613(a)(2)(C) in school year 2016–17.


Footnotes

1 The year in the title reflects the U.S. Department of Education’s target year for submitting the report to Congress. The most current data in this report were collected from July 2016 through December 2017. These data have been available to the public prior to their presentation in this report. Subsequent references to this report and previously published annual reports will be abbreviated as the “XX Annual Report to Congress,” and will not include “on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.”

2 A State may elect to make Part C services available to infants and toddlers with disabilities beyond age 3, consistent with IDEA Sections 632(5)(B) and 635(c) and 34 Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) § 303.211. Data on these children are included in the annual reporting requirements for Part C under IDEA Sections 616, 618, and 642.

3 Section 618 data consist of:

  1. the number of infants and toddlers served under IDEA, Part C; the settings in which they receive program services; information on the transition at age 3 out of Part C; and dispute resolution information under IDEA Part C; and
  2. the number of children and students served under IDEA, Part B; the environments in which they receive education; their participation in and performance on State assessments; information on their exiting special education services; the personnel employed to provide educational services to them; disciplinary actions that affect them; and dispute resolution information under IDEA, Part B.

4 This descriptor and other Section 618 data descriptors in this report are italicized within exhibits, text, and notes to clarify that the reference is to a grouping of data.



   
Last Modified: 02/06/2020