Special Education

Annual Performance Report for 2008-09 - February 2010 - Indicator 4

Overview of the Annual Performance Report Development:

See Overview of the Development of the Annual Performance Report (APR) in the Introduction section, page 1.

Monitoring Priority: FAPE in the LRE

Indicator 4:  Rates of suspension and expulsion:

A.  Percent of districts that have a significant discrepancy in the rate of suspensions and expulsions of greater than 10 days in a school year for children with individualized education programs (IEPs); and
B.  Percent of districts that have (a) a significant discrepancy, by race or ethnicity, in the rate of suspensions and expulsions of greater than 10 days in a school year for children with IEPs; and (b) policies, procedures or practices that contribute to the significant discrepancy and do not comply with requirements relating to the development and implementation of IEPs, the use of positive behavioral interventions and supports, and procedural safeguards.
(20 U.S.C. 1416(a)(3)(A); 1412(a)(22))

Measurement 4A:

A.  Percent = [(# of districts that have a significant discrepancy in the rates of suspensions and expulsions for greater than 10 days in a school year of children with IEPs) divided by the (# of districts in the State)] times 100.

Data Collection and Verification Procedures:

New York State (NYS) collects data on the number of students with disabilities suspended or expelled out of school for more than 10 days in a school year on the PD-8 report.  This report is available at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/sedcar/forms/pdforms/0809/08word/08pd8.doc.  Data for this report are collected through a web-based application.  The State verifies the reliability and accuracy of the State’s data through automated edit checks and verification procedures.

Section 618 data were used to analyze for discrepancy in the rates of out-of-school suspensions of students with disabilities for greater than 10 days in a school year among school districts.  Suspension rates were calculated for all school districts.  From 2004-05 through 2007-08, the rates were computed by dividing the number of students with disabilities suspended out of school for more than 10 days, by the December 1 count of school-age students with disabilities and the result expressed as a percent.  From 2008-09 onward, the date for determining the count for school-age students changed from December 1 to the first Wednesday in October.

The 2004-05 baseline statewide average suspension rate was 1.34 percent. School districts with at least 75 school-age students with disabilities that had a suspension rate of 4.0 percent or higher were identified as having significant discrepancy in their rate among school districts.  A minimum number of 75 students with disabilities was used since small numbers of students with disabilities may distort percentages. 

Definition of Significant Discrepancy and Methodology:

In NYS, the rates of suspensions and expulsions of students with disabilities out of  school for more than 10 days in a school year are compared among the school districts in the State.  School districts with significant discrepancies in their suspension rates as indicated below are identified as having a high rate and must complete a State developed monitoring protocol.  This protocol requires them to review specific policies, practices and procedures related to discipline of students with disabilities, including requirements relating to the development and implementation of IEPs, use of positive behavioral interventions and supports and procedural safeguards.  The results from this review are reported to the State for follow-up and corrective actions if compliance issues are identified.

  • For the baseline year 2004-05 through 2006-07, significant discrepancy was defined as a suspension rate of greater than three times the baseline statewide average (i.e., a rate of 4.0 percent or higher).
  • Beginning in 2007-08 through 2010-11, significant discrepancy is defined as a suspension rate of greater than two times the baseline statewide average, (i.e., a rate of more than 2.7 percent or higher).

Data Source:

For Indicator 4A, NYS uses data collected for Table 5 of Information Collection 1820-0621 (Report of Children with Disabilities Unilaterally Removed or Suspended/Expelled for More than 10 Days) and reported to the United States Education Department (USED) annually in the 618 report.  These data are also provided to USED in the corresponding EDFacts files.

4B: Significant Discrepancies by Race/Ethnicity in High Suspension Rates

A new baseline for Measurement 4B will be reported in the State Performance Plan (SPP) to be submitted February 1, 2011, with APRs resuming thereafter.  See SPP February 2010 for information about Measurement of 4B.

Federal Fiscal Year (FFY)

Measurable and Rigorous Target

FFY 2008
(2008-09 school year)

4A.   No more than 2 percent of school districts in the State will suspend students with disabilities for more than 10 days at a rate of 2.7% or higher. (This rate is two times the baseline average.)
4B.   Reporting this indicator by race and ethnicity is not required for the FFY 2008 APR due February 1, 2010.  Baseline, targets and improvement activities will be established in the FFY 2009 SPP due February 1, 2011.

Actual Target Data for FFY 2008 for Indicator 4A:

In the 2008-09 school year, 40 school districts (5.9% of all school districts) had an out-of-district suspension rate for 10 days or more of 2.7 percent or higher.  

2008-09 performance represents a significant improvement over the previous school year, 2007-08, when 64 school districts (9.4 percent of all school districts) had an out-of-district suspension rate for 10 days or more of 2.7 percent or higher.  

Indicator 4A. Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) with Significant Discrepancies in Rates for Suspension and Expulsion of Students with Disabilities

Year

Total Number of LEAs

Number of LEAs that have Significant Discrepancies

Percent

FFY 2007 (2007-08)

683

64

9.4%

FFY 2008 (2008-09)

682

40

5.9%

Review of Policies, Procedures and Practices (FFY 2008)

For each school district identified by their data as having a significant discrepancy in the rate of suspensions and expulsions of greater than 10 days in a school year of students with disabilities, the State ensures that a review is conducted of the district’s policies, procedures and practices relating to the development and implementation of IEPs, the uses of positive behavioral interventions and supports, and procedural safeguards among students with disabilities subject to discipline.  The monitoring protocol for this review is available at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/spp/4selfreview409.pdf.  A report of the results of this review is submitted by the district to the State.  At the time of submission, schools that identify issues of noncompliance are immediately notified that they must correct all issues of noncompliance as soon as possible, but not later than 12 months. Policies, procedures and practices of school districts identified by data for a second consecutive year are reviewed by the State’s special education monitoring staff. 

Discussion of Improvement Activities Completed and Explanation of Progress or Slippage that occurred for FFY 2008:

Explanation of Progress or Slippage

In 2007-08, NYS revised its definition of “significant discrepancy” in suspension rate from a rate that is 4.0% or higher to a rate that is 2.7% or higher, thus identifying 64 districts based on 2007-08 school year data compared to 16 school districts based on 2006-07 school year data.

2008-09 represented the second year of implementing the more rigorous definition of significant discrepancy.  The percentage of school districts whose data indicated significant discrepancies in high rates of suspensions of students with disabilities for more than 10 days decreased from 9.4 percent to 5.9 percent, representing a significant improvement.  NYS will report on the review of policies, practices and procedures in the 40 school districts in next year’s APR.

Correction of FFY 2007 Findings of Noncompliance

Beginning with this APR submission, NYS is reporting on the correction of noncompliance according to the school year in which the finding of noncompliance was issued. This method of reporting is consistent with guidance and format provided by USED. In earlier years, under this indicator, the State only reported on the number of school districts with noncompliance according to the data year (used for identification) and the notification year (the year in which districts were notified to complete a self-review of their practices, policies and procedures). Please note that the number of districts reported in the tables below as having corrected findings within one year or after one year shows that some school districts corrected some of their findings within one year and other findings after one year. For this reason, some of the same school districts are reported in one or more of Lines 1-6 depending on how many of the findings they corrected within one year or after one year.

  1. Number of findings of noncompliance the State made during FFY 2007 (the period from July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008). = 161 findings (13 school districts)
  2. Number of FFY 2007 findings the State verified as timely corrected (corrected within one year from the date of notification to the LEA of the finding). = 102 findings (10 school districts)
  3. Number of FFY 2007 findings not verified as corrected within one year [(1) minus (2)] = 59 findings (5 school districts)

Correction of FFY 2007 Findings of Noncompliance Not Timely Corrected (corrected more than one year from identification of the noncompliance):

  1. Number of FFY 2007 findings not timely corrected (same as the number from (3) above) =  59 findings (5 school districts)
  2. Number of FFY 2007 findings the State has verified as corrected beyond the one-year timeline (“subsequent correction”) =   42 findings (5 school districts)
  3. Number of FFY 2007 findings not yet verified as corrected [(4) minus (5)] = 21 findings (1 school district)

Actions Taken if Noncompliance from FFY 2007 Not Corrected:

For FFY 2007 findings for which the State has not yet verified correction, explain what the State has done to identify the root cause(s) of continuing noncompliance, and what the State is doing about the continued lack of compliance, including, as appropriate, enforcement actions taken against an LEA that continues to show noncompliance.

  • For each school district with continuing noncompliance, the State required the district to obtain technical assistance and has directed specialists from the Regional Special Education Technical Assistance Support Centers (RSE-TASC), including behavior specialists, to address root causes of noncompliance and assist the districts in the development of systems of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS).
  • For the remaining school district in item 6 of the FFY 2007 table above, a follow–up monitoring review was conducted and a Compliance Assurance Plan was issued, specifying the actions the school district is required to take and giving timelines for these actions to be completed.  The Special Education Quality Assurance (SEQA) Regional Associate has conducted on-going follow-up and technical assistance activities.

Verification of Correction of Findings from FFY 2007 (either timely or subsequent):

For those findings for which the State has reported correction, describe the process the State used to verify that the LEA is correctly implementing the specific regulatory requirements.

When the school district reports correction of noncompliance to the State, the Superintendent in the school must submit an assurance that the information reported is accurate.  If a school district does not report correction of noncompliance within one year from identification, the State conducts a follow-up monitoring review and issues a Compliance Assurance Plan, specifying the actions the school district is required to take and giving timelines for these actions to be completed.  The SEQA Regional Associate follows up with each district to assure that the Compliance Assurance Plan is fully implemented and to verify that noncompliance has been corrected.  If a school district’s data indicates significant discrepancies for two or more consecutive years, regardless of whether the district reported correction of noncompliance, the State conducts the review of the district’s policies, procedures and practices and verifies through review of revised policies and student records that correction of noncompliance has been achieved.

Correction of Remaining FFY 2006 Findings of Noncompliance (if applicable):

For FFY 2006 findings for which the State has not yet verified correction, explain what the State has done to identify the root cause(s) of continuing noncompliance, and what the State is doing about the continued lack of compliance, including, as appropriate, enforcement actions taken against an LEA that continues to show noncompliance.

  1. Number of findings of noncompliance the State made during FFY 2006 (the period from July 1, 2006 through June 30, 2007). = 181 findings (19 districts)
  2. Number of FFY 2006 findings the State has verified as timely corrected (corrected within one year from the date of notification to the LEA of the finding). = 0 findings
    (0 districts)
  3. Number of FFY 2006 findings not verified as corrected within one year [(1) minus (2)] = 181 findings (19 districts)

Correction of FFY 2006 Findings of Noncompliance Not Timely Corrected (corrected more than one year from identification of the noncompliance):

  1. Number of FFY 2006 findings not timely corrected (same as the number from (3) above) = 181 findings (19 districts)
  2. Number of FFY 2006 findings the State has verified as corrected beyond the one-year timeline (“subsequent correction”) =   176 findings
    (19 districts)
  3. Number of FFY 2006 findings not yet verified as corrected [(4) minus (5)] = 5 findings (2 districts)

Both districts in item 6 of the FFY 2006 table are large urban districts.  Both were monitored on site, and then received individualized interventions to address district-specific findings.  In both districts, a district-wide systemic Compliance Assurance Plan, specifying the actions the school district is required to take and giving timelines for these actions to be completed, was issued to address the identified areas of noncompliance with the district’s policies, practices and procedures relating to the suspension and discipline of students with disabilities.  In one, district-wide professional development in the use of Positive Behavioral Strategies was conducted with Student Support Teams and Committees on Special Education (CSE).  In the other, technical assistance has been provided to support the district’s implementation of a school-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program.

Correction of Any Remaining Findings of Noncompliance from FFY 2005 or Earlier (if applicable):

For FFY 2005 findings for which the State has not yet verified correction, explain what the State has done to identify the root cause(s) of continuing noncompliance, and what the State is doing about the continued lack of compliance, including, as appropriate, enforcement actions taken against an LEA that continues to show noncompliance.

The State issued notifications of noncompliance beginning in the FFY 2006, thus there were no findings in FFY 2005.

Additional Information Required by the OSEP APR Response Table for this Indicator:

Statement from the OSEP Response Table

State’s Response

The State reported that noncompliance identified in FFY 2005, FFY 2006 and FFY 2007 with the requirements in 34 CFR §300.170(b) was partially corrected.  The State must demonstrate, in the FFY 2008 APR, due, February 1, 2010, that the remaining noncompliance was corrected, by reporting that it has verified that each LEA with remaining noncompliance identified in FFY 2005, FFY 2006 and FFY 2007 is correctly implementing the specific regulatory requirements. The State must take the steps necessary to ensure that it can report, in the FFY 2008 APR, due February 1, 2010, that it has corrected this noncompliance.

The State has verified the correction of 140 findings (87 percent) of noncompliance from thirteen school districts identified in FFY 2007.  One school district has 21 findings of noncompliance beyond one year.  The resources of the State’s behavior specialists have been directed to work with this district to improve the district’s behavioral practices. 

The State has verified the correction of 176 findings (97 percent) from the FFY 2006 year.  Two of NYS’ largest school districts have continuing noncompliance (5 findings).  The State has provided grant funds to these districts to implement improvement activities and funds school improvement specialists to work exclusively with these two districts.  Two of the districts have been identified as districts in need of intervention or assistance.

As noted in the revised Part B Indicator Measurement Table, in reporting on this indicator in the FFY 2008 APR, due February 1, 2010, the State must again describe the results of the State’s examination of data from FFY 2007 (2007-08).  In addition, the State must describe the review, and if appropriate, revision of policies, procedures and practices relating to the development and implementation of IEPs, the use of positive behavioral interventions and supports, and procedural safeguards to ensure compliance with the IDEA for LEAs identified with significant discrepancies in FFY 2007, as required by 34 CFR §300.170(b).

NYS examines suspension/expulsion data annually and based on established criteria notifies school districts whose suspension rates are significantly higher compared to the rates in other school districts. Each school district that is identified completes a self-review of its policies, procedures and practices relating to the development and implementation of IEPs, the use of positive behavioral interventions and supports, and procedural safeguards to ensure compliance with the IDEA. The self-review monitoring protocol used by school districts is developed by the State. The results of the self review are reported to the State and correction of any reported noncompliance is required to be corrected and verified within one year from notification.  Policies, procedures and practices of school districts identified by data for a second consecutive year are reviewed by the State’s special education monitoring staff. 

OSEP looks forward to the State’s data demonstrating improvement in performance in the FFY 2008 APR, due February 1, 2010.

Under the more rigorous definition, data improved significantly, compared with the previous year.  In FFY 2008, the number of school districts identified by their data went down from 64 to 40, a decrease from 9.4% to 5.9% of school districts.

Improvement Activities Completed in 2008-09

The Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID) developed and implemented the use of electronic notices, sent to districts at 3-month intervals, as a reminder of the noncompliance that needs to be corrected and the next steps that will be taken by VESID should timely correction not occur.  The State’s monitoring staff also receive copies of the electronic notices and take appropriate follow-up actions.

NYS redesigned its special education technical assistance networks to form teams of specialists in each region of the State.  These teams include behavior specialists to provide technical assistance and training on implementation of PBIS and policies, procedures and practices relating to development and implementation of IEPs, the uses of positive behavioral interventions and supports, and procedural safeguards among students with disabilities subject to discipline.  The number of behavior specialists funded by the State in these centers has expanded from previous contracts. 

The State developed a three-day training program for chairpersons of CSEs and Committees on Preschool Special Education (CPSEs), which includes training on IEP development and positive behavioral supports and interventions. 

The State issued a Request for Proposals for a State Technical Assistance Center on PBIS.  The winning bidder for this Center will be announced in early winter, 2010.

VESID accessed technical assistance to further inform its activities to address suspension rates of students with disabilities and to promote positive behavioral supports and interventions in NYS' public and private schools from the National Center for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports.  This national technical assistance and support is critical for assisting NYS to improve its performance on this indicator.  One of NYS’ behavior specialists serves on the Board of Directors for the national technical assistance center.  The State supports attendance of its behavior specialists at the national conferences. 

Revisions, with Justification, to Proposed Targets / Improvement Activities / Timelines / Resources for FFY 2008 [If applicable]

None.

 

Last Updated: June 30, 2010