Archive for March, 2023

Comment on Your State’s Application for IDEA Part B Federal Funds for FFY 2023

Friday, March 24th, 2023

States are required to submit an annual application for Federal funds to the U.S. Dept. of Education (ED) in order to be eligible to receive their IDEA Part B Federal funds.

States must make their FFY 2023 IDEA Part B applications for Federal funds available to the public at least 60 days prior to submission to ED’s Office of Special Education Programs (due by May 24, 2023), accept public comment for at least 30 days, review and consider all public comments and make any necessary modifications to the application or policies and procedures, as appropriate. This means applications should be posted to SEA websites by March 24, 2023.

Through these applications, states must make a number of “assurances” regarding compliance with IDEA including assuring FAPE is available to all identified students, services are provided in the least restrictive environment (LRE) to the maximum extent practicable, identifying significant disproportionality and many more! States must also provide information on their maintenance of state financial support as well as a list of state special education rule, regulation, or policy that are State-imposed requirement and not required by Part B of the Act and Federal regulations.

More information about the annual application is available in the following documents:

Find your state’s application by visiting your state’s dept. of education special education section.

Below are some documents that can assist in compiling comments to your state application:

2022 State Performance Plan/Annual Performance Report (SPP/APR). Download your state’s latest Part B SPP/APR here. Examine the performance of your state on key indicators such as graduation rate, drop-out rate, performance on annual state assessments. Question low performance on these indicators and if performance equates to FAPE as required by Assurances 1 and 2.

SPP/APR Targets.
Our series of Special Reports can be used to determine the rigor that your state’s targets on key performance indicators. Question targets that seek to achieve little if any improvement.

Annual Determinations.
Check the rating that your state has received over the past years as determined by the annual determination made by the Office of Special Education Programs. The latest determinations are available in this blog. Ratings for 2014 through 2022 are available here. The Results Matrix (a PDF appended to the end of your state’s SPP/APR) provides details on how the rating was determined.

Dispute Resolution Data.
Encourage your state to use dispute resolution data as suggested in this document:
Five Ways to Effectively Use Dispute Resolution Data in State General Supervision Systems to Improve Implementation of IDEA and to make state complaint reports available to the public if they do not currently do so.

New Data: Number of IDEA eligible Students Increased by 2% in 2021

Tuesday, March 21st, 2023

March 21, 2023. The U.S. Dept. of Education has released new data on students with disabilities (eligible under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA). Section 618 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that each state annually submit data about the infants and toddlers, birth through age 2, who receive early intervention services under Part C of IDEA, and children with disabilities, ages 3 through 21, who receive special education and related services under Part B of IDEA.

The new data shows the number of IDEA-eligible children in 2021 increased significantly from 2020. Students ages 3-21 increased by 1.9%; school age students (ages 5-21) increased by 2.5% following a slight decline in 2020.

The percent of the population served under IDEA continues to vary significantly across states, ranging from a high of 12.95% in Maine to a low of 6.22% in Hawaii with a nationwide rate of 9.48%.


The distribution across disability categories of School Age Students (ages 5-21) with Disabilities in 2021 showed an increase in the Autism category while other categories such as Specific learning disabilities and Emotional disturbance continue to decline. Autism now accounts for a full 12% of school age students with disabilities, up from 10% just 5 years ago.


The number of children served under IDEA Part C also increased in 2021, after a significant decline in 2020. Part C served 407,807 children in 2021 compared to 363,387 in 2020. Equally important, the percent of the population served grew from 3.2% to 3.7%, returning to 2019 level.

The percent of population served under Part C varies by state ranging from 9.95% in Massachusetts to 1.14% in Arkansas.

The section 618 data collection provides data on the following

· School Year 2020-21 Part B Assessment
· School Year 2021-22 Part B Child Count and Educational Environments
· School Year 2020-21 Part B Discipline
· School Year 2020-21 Part B Dispute Resolution
· School Year 2020-21 Part B Exiting
– School Year 2020-21 Maintenance of Effort Reduction and Coordinated Early Intervening Services
· School Year 2020-21 Part B Personnel
· School Year 2021-22 Part C Child Count and Settings
· School Year 2020-21 Part C Dispute Resolution
· School Year 2020-21 Part C Exiting