Special Education

State Performance Plan (SPP) for 2005-2012 - Revised February 2012 - Indicator 16

Overview of the State Performance Plan Development

See Overview of the State Performance Plan (SPP) Development preceding Indicator 1.

Monitoring Priority: Effective General Supervision

Indicator 16: Percent of signed written complaints with reports issued that were resolved within 60-day timeline or a timeline extended for exceptional circumstances with respect to a particular complaint, or because the parent (or individual or organization) and the public agency agree to extend the time to engage in mediation or other alternative means of dispute resolution, if available in the State.
(20 U.S.C. 1416(a)(3)(B))

Note: The Indicator definition was expanded in March 2009 per the United States Education Department (USED) guidance to specify that the time limit could be extended by mutual agreement to engage in mediation or alternate means of dispute resolution.

Measurement: 

Percent = (1.1(b) + 1.1(c)) divided by (1.1) times 100. (This formula references data contained in the rows of the table below labeled, “Attachment 1: Section A.”)

Data Source:

New York State (NYS) will use data collected and reported annually to USED in the 618 report on Table 7 of Information Collection 1820-0677 (Report of Dispute Resolution Under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)).

Overview of Issue/Description of System or Process

Section 200.5 of the Commissioner’s Regulations establishes the State’s complaint procedures.  An organization or individual may file a signed written complaint to the State Education Department (SED).  The complaint must include a statement that the school district or SED has violated a federal or State law or regulation relating to the education of students with disabilities, and the facts upon which the statement is based. 

The complaint must be received within one year of the date of the alleged violation.  The original signed complaint must be filed with the Office of Special Education (OSE) at SED.  

Upon receipt of a complaint, SED provides the complainant with a written notice of receipt of the complaint and the complainant’s right to submit additional information, either orally or in writing, regarding the allegations in the complaint.  SED may require a school district to submit a written reply to the complaint. 

All relevant information is reviewed and SED staff may conduct an on-site investigation where the Department determines such investigation is necessary.  SED issues a written final decision that addresses each allegation in the complaint; contains findings of fact and conclusions; and sets forth the reasons for the final decision.  The report sets aside any part of the complaint that is currently being addressed in an impartial hearing held pursuant to Education Law section 4404.  Upon a finding of a violation of a federal or State law or regulation relating to the education of students with disabilities, the decision includes, if necessary for implementation of the decision, technical assistance activities, negotiations, and corrective actions to achieve compliance.  Upon a finding of failure to provide appropriate services to an individual student with a disability, the decision includes remediation of the denial of services, including, as appropriate, the awarding of monetary reimbursement or other corrective action appropriate to the needs of the student and appropriate future provision of services for all students with disabilities.

The decision must be issued within 60 calendar days of receipt of the complaint except where exceptional circumstances exist with respect to a particular complaint.  Where an issue raised in a complaint has been previously decided in an impartial hearing held pursuant to Education Law section 4404 involving the same parties, SED notifies the complainant that the impartial hearing decision is binding. 

NYS uses a database computer system to track all written signed complaints received in each Regional Office across the State.  All written signed complaints are logged into this system.  Regional offices also use an additional internal log to ensure accurate data collection.  Formal complaints are individually logged and data is entered at all critical stages (60th day, findings issued, specific issues involved, status of each issue, date of corrective action(s), date of resolution, etc).  Regional Office supervisors use a variety of means to monitor timelines (e.g., logs, QAIS, complaint summaries). 

Baseline Data for FFY 2004 (2004-05)

The percentage of signed written complaints resolved within the 60-day timeline or a timeline extended for exceptional circumstances with respect to a particular complaint was 94.8 percent. This baseline data reflects revised data submitted to OSEP on March 22, 2006, with a minor correction (from 94.7 to 94.8 percent) made.

Discussion of Baseline Data

The table below shows that there were 246 complaints that required resolution.  Of this number, 233 were resolved within the 60-day timeline and an additional five were resolved with documented extensions.  There were eight complaints not resolved within the required time period.  (Also see Attachment 1.)  The few complaints that were not resolved within the required time period resulted from unexpected personnel absences and/or the complex nature of the complaint.

2004-05
Attachment 1
SECTION A: Signed, written complaints
(1)  Signed, written complaints total 362
(1.1)Complaints with reports issued 252
(a) Reports with findings 239
(b) Reports within timeline 234
(c)Reports within extended timelines 5
(1.2)Complaints withdrawn or dismissed 99
(1.3)Complaints pending 11
 (a)Complaint pending a due process hearing 9
Measurement Formula:  1.1b (234) + 1.1c (5)= 239 / 1.1 (252) =  94.8 percent

Measurable and Rigorous Targets

FFY Measurable and Rigorous Target
2005
(2005-06)
100 percent of signed written complaints will be resolved within the 60-day timeline or a timeline extended for exceptional circumstances with respect to a particular complaint.
2006
(2006-07)
100 percent of signed written complaints will be resolved within the 60-day timeline or a timeline extended for exceptional circumstances with respect to a particular complaint.
2007
(2007-08)
100 percent of signed written complaints will be resolved within the 60-day timeline or a timeline extended for exceptional circumstances with respect to a particular complaint.
2008
(2008-09)
100 percent of signed written complaints will be resolved within the 60-day timeline or a timeline extended for exceptional circumstances with respect to a particular complaint.
2009
(2009-10)
100 percent of signed written complaints will be resolved within the 60-day timeline or a timeline extended for exceptional circumstances with respect to a particular complaint.
2010
(2010-11)
100 percent of signed written complaints will be resolved within the 60-day timeline or a timeline extended for exceptional circumstances with respect to a particular complaint.
2011*
(2011-12)
100 percent of signed written complaints will be resolved within the 60-day timeline or a timeline extended for exceptional circumstances with respect to a particular complaint.
2012*
(2012-13)
100 percent of signed written complaints will be resolved within the 60-day timeline or a timeline extended for exceptional circumstances with respect to a particular complaint.
*In FFY 2009, USED requested states to add two additional years to the SPP, including adding two additional years of targets.

Improvement Activities/Timelines/Resources

Activity Timeline Resources
Implement CSEIS to:
  • provide easily retrievable data regarding the status of complaints:
  • provide managers and all regional staff with readily accessible status reports and timely notice of upcoming due dates; and
  • generate regional monthly status reports.
Spring
2006-12*
CSEIS
Train SEQA managers and all other staff on implementation of CSEIS and strategies to improve timely completion of complaint investigations.  2006-12* OSE staff
Operationalize the Nondistrict Unit to provide general oversight of all in State and out of State private day and residential programs for students with disabilities.  2005-11
Completed
See APR 2/08
Non-district SEQA Unit
Post a revised State complaint model form and a question and answer document on State complaints to the State’s web site. 2009-10
Completed  See APR 2/11
OSE staff
Last Updated: January 27, 2012 #EndDate -->ate --> ate -->