Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CEIS)
1. What are CEIS?
CEIS are services provided to students in kindergarten through grade 12 (with a particular emphasis on students in kindergarten through grade three) who are not currently identified as needing special education or related services, but who need additional academic and behavioral supports to succeed in a general education environment. The IDEA (20 U.S.C. §1413(f)(2)) and its regulations (34 CFR §300.226(b)) identify the activities that may be included as CEIS: (1) professional development for teachers and other school staff to enable such personnel to deliver scientifically based academic and behavioral interventions, including scientifically based literacy instruction, and, where appropriate, instruction on the use of adaptive and instructional software; and (2) providing educational and behavioral evaluations, services, and supports, including scientifically based literacy instruction.
For example, an LEA might use CEIS to provide behavioral interventions to nondisabled students who receive a certain number of disciplinary office referrals, perhaps as a part of a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS) initiative. CEIS also might be used to help fund reading or math specialists to work with nondisabled students who have not reached grade-level proficiency in those subjects, or to fund after-school tutoring for nondisabled students who score below “basic” on Statewide assessments.
Section 613(f)(5) of the IDEA also states that CEIS funds may be used to carry out services aligned with activities funded by and carried out under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA), if IDEA funds are used to supplement, and not supplant, funds made available under the ESEA for those activities. Thus, if the IDEA funds do not supplant ESEA funds, they may be used to supplement school improvement activities conducted under other programs, such as Titles I or III, that are being implemented in an LEA. For more information on the supplement not supplant requirements, please see Question 24.
2. Who may receive CEIS?
Section 613(f)(1) of the IDEA permits LEAs to use IDEA funds for CEIS for students in kindergarten through grade 12 (with a particular emphasis on students in kindergarten through grade three) who are not currently identified as needing special education or related services, but who need additional academic and behavioral support to succeed in a general education environment. See also 34 CFR §300.226(a). Children who are not yet in kindergarten may not receive CEIS. The preamble to the IDEA Part B regulations clarifies that students who received special education in the past, but are not currently receiving special education, are eligible to receive CEIS. (71
An LEA determines which students need additional support. For example, an LEA might consider factors such as performance on reading or math assessments, disciplinary referrals, or suspension and expulsions. If an LEA chooses to use CEIS funds to support school-wide interventions, it must be able to provide documentation that CEIS funds were used to provide services only to students in need of additional support and that other funds were used to fund the school-wide intervention for special education students and students who do not need additional support.
3. When is provision of CEIS required?
Under 34 CFR §300.646(b)(2), if a State identifies significant disproportionality based on race or ethnicity in an LEA with respect to the identification of children as children with disabilities, the identification of children in specific disability categories, the placement of children with disabilities in particular educational settings, or the taking of disciplinary actions, the LEA must use the maximum amount (15 percent) of funds allowable for comprehensive CEIS for children in the LEA, particularly, but not exclusively, for children in those groups that were “significantly overidentified.”
4. May an LEA limit comprehensive CEIS solely to members of the racial or ethnic group for which significant disproportionality was identified?
No. The requirement in 34 CFR §300.646(b)(2) is to provide comprehensive CEIS to serve “children in the LEA, particularly, but not exclusively, children in those groups that were significantly overidentified.” For example, assume an LEA’s data show significant disproportionality in the identification of African-American students as children with disabilities and that the majority of these students are identified in 4th and 5th grades in six of the LEA’s 15 elementary schools. In this case, one appropriate way an LEA could implement CEIS would be to direct CEIS funds to all nondisabled 3rd and 4th grade children in need of additional academic or behavioral support in those six schools. It would not be appropriate, however, for the LEA to limit eligibility for CEIS only to nondisabled 3rd and 4th grade African-American students in those schools who were in need of additional academic or behavioral support. In this example, the services would be provided to 3rd and 4th grade students in order to intervene prior to the grade when significant disproportionality was identified.
5. How may an LEA use CEIS funds for professional development?
CEIS funds may be used to provide professional development to all personnel who are responsible for students who need additional academic and behavioral supports to succeed in a general education environment, but who have not been identified as needing special education. Under limited circumstances personnel who are solely responsible for students receiving special education services or students who do not need additional support may participate in professional development funded with CEIS funds. These personnel may participate so long as the cost of the professional development does not increase, the quality of the professional development does not decrease, and including those personnel would not exclude other personnel who are responsible for students who need additional support but have not been identified as needing special education.
6. What are the reporting requirements for CEIS?
The regulations require, in 34 CFR §300.226(d), each LEA that implements CEIS to report to the State on the number of children who received CEIS and the number of those children who subsequently received special education and related services under Part B during the preceding two-year period (i.e., the two years after the child has received CEIS). (71 FR 46540, 46628 (Aug. 14, 2006)). States and LEAs must maintain these records for audit and monitoring purposes but are not required to report these data to the Department unless requested to do so.
7. How should an LEA count and track students who received CEIS when funds are used for professional development or a school-wide intervention initiative?
To ensure consistency across LEAs in a State, each State should develop a method for its LEAs to count and track students who are served by personnel who participated in professional development activities supported with CEIS funds. It would be appropriate for an LEA to count, and subsequently track for two years, the number of students in need of additional support who received instruction from personnel who participated in the professional development program. It would not be appropriate to count every student who was taught by these personnel if some of the students were not in need of additional support or were receiving special education services. An LEA should only count the students and the personnel who participated in the professional development program in the year(s) of or the year(s) immediately after the training, rather than counting the students and those personnel each year after the training. A similar method might be used to count students who benefit from a school-wide intervention initiative supported with CEIS funds. Students who meet the LEA’s criteria of being in need of additional support and participate in the initiative should be counted as receiving CEIS in the year(s) of or the year(s) immediately following the initiative and tracked for the following two years. Students who participate in an initiative for more than one year should be counted each year they participate.
8. How should an LEA count and track students who received CEIS when funds are used to provide behavioral and educational evaluations?
LEAs may use CEIS funds to provide behavioral and educational evaluations to determine the supports that are needed by students to succeed in a general education environment. However, funds may not be used for evaluations that are intended for use in determining eligibility for special education and related services. Students who are evaluated to determine the supports necessary for success in a general education environment should be counted as receiving CEIS in the year of or the year immediately following the evaluation and tracked for the following two years.
 School-wide interventions, as used in this memorandum, are interventions that are implemented throughout a school. The reference to school-wide interventions is not a reference to school-wide programs under section 1114 of the ESEA.