Special Education

2011 SPP/APR State Determination Letter

2011 SPP/APR State Determination Letter - PDF PDF Document (3.85 KB)

June 20, 2011

Honorable John King
Commissioner of Education
New York State Education Department
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12234

Dear Commissioner King:

Thank you for the timely submission of New York’s Federal fiscal year (FFY) 2009 Annual Performance Report (APR) and revised State Performance Plan (SPP) under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

The Department has determined that, under IDEA section 616(d), New York needs assistance in implementing the requirements of Part B of IDEA.  The Department’s determination is based on the totality of the State’s data and information including the State’s FFY 2009 APR and revised SPP (including targets and improvement activities for each year through FFY 2012), other State-reported data, and other publicly available information.  However, we did not consider whether a State was in compliance with the requirement in section 612(a)(18)(A) to maintain State financial support for special education and related services.  This is a key component of a State’s eligibility for a grant under Part B of the IDEA.  However, because the statute provides a specific remedy when a State is not in compliance with this provision (and the Department is taking action consistent with the statute) and recognizing that this is the first time that a number of States have failed to meet this requirement, the Department decided not to include compliance with this provision in the determinations process this year.  The Department is actively considering including a State’s compliance with this requirement in the 2012 determinations.  See the enclosure entitled “How the Department Made Determinations under Section 616(d) of the IDEA in 2011: Part B” for further details.

The specific factors affecting the Office of Special Education Programs’ (OSEP’s) determination of needs assistance for New York were that the State’s FFY 2009 data reflect 77% compliance for Indicator 11, 64% compliance for Indicator 12, 75.1% compliance for Indicator 15 and 84% compliance for Indicator 17.  For these reasons, we were unable to determine that New York met requirements for FFY 2009 under IDEA section 616(d).

OSEP notes other areas that reflect a high level of performance, including that New York reported valid and reliable data for all indicators and a high level of compliance for Indicator 9 (1%), Indicator 10 (1.2%), Indicator 16 (99.53%) and Indicator 20 (97.62%).  We hope that New York will be able to demonstrate that it meets requirements in its next APR.

The enclosed table provides OSEP’s analysis of the State’s FFY 2009 APR and revised SPP and identifies, by indicator, OSEP’s review of any revisions made by the State to its targets, improvement activities (timelines and resources) and baseline data in the State’s SPP.  The table also identifies, by indicator: (1) the State’s reported FFY 2009 data; (2) whether such data met the State’s FFY 2009 targets and reflect progress or slippage from the prior year’s data; (3) if applicable, that the State’s data are not valid and reliable; and (4) whether the State corrected findings of noncompliance. 

The State’s determinations for FFYs 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 were also needs assistance.  In accordance with section 616(e)(1) of the IDEA and 34 CFR §300.604, if a State is determined to need assistance for two consecutive years, the Secretary must take one or more of the following actions:  (1) advise the State of available sources of technical assistance that may help the State address the areas in which the State needs assistance; (2) direct the use of State-level funds on the area or areas in which the State needs assistance; or (3) identify the State as a high-risk grantee and impose Special Conditions on the State’s Part B grant award.

Pursuant to these requirements, the Secretary is advising the State of available sources of technical assistance related to Indicator 11 (timely initial evaluations), Indicator 12 (IEP developed and implemented by third birthday), Indicator 15 (timely correction of noncompliance), and Indicator 17 (due process hearing timelines).  A list of sources of technical assistance related to the SPP/APR indicators is available by clicking on the “Technical Assistance Related to Determinations” box on the opening page of “The Right IDEA” Web site at:  http://therightidea.tadnet.org/technicalassistance.  You will be directed to a list of indicators.  Click on specific indicators for a list of centers, documents, Web seminars and other sources of relevant technical assistance for that indicator.  For the indicators listed above, your State must report with its FFY 2010 APR submission, due February 1, 2012, on:  (1) the technical assistance sources from which the State received assistance; and (2) the actions the State took as a result of that technical assistance.  The extent to which your State takes advantage of available technical assistance for these indicators may affect the actions OSEP takes under section 616 should your State not be determined to meet requirements next year.  We encourage New York to take advantage of available sources of technical assistance in other areas as well, particularly if the State is reporting low compliance data for an indicator.

As required by section 616(e)(7) of the IDEA and 34 CFR §300.606, the State must notify the public within the State that the Secretary of Education has taken the above enforcement action, including, at a minimum, by posting a public notice on the agency’s Web site and distributing the notice to the media and through public agencies.

As you know, pursuant to IDEA section 616(b)(2)(C)(ii)(l) and 34 CFR §300.602(b)(1)(i)(A), your State must report annually to the public on the performance of each local educational agency (LEA) located in the State on the targets in the SPP as soon as practicable, but no later than June 1, 2011.  In addition, your State must: (1) review LEA performance against targets in the State’s SPP; (2) determine if each LEA “meets requirements,” of Part B, or “needs assistance,” “needs intervention,” or “needs substantial intervention” in implementing Part B of the IDEA; (3)  take appropriate enforcement action; and (4) inform each LEA of its determination.  34 CFR §300.600(a)(2) and (3).  For further information regarding these requirements, see “The Right IDEA” Web site at:  http://therightidea.tadnet.org/determinations.  Finally, please ensure that your updated SPP is posted on the State educational agency’s Web site and made available to the public, consistent with 34 CFR §300.602(b)(1)(i)(B).

OSEP is committed to supporting New York’s efforts to improve results for children and youth with disabilities and looks forward to working with your State over the next year.  If you have any questions, would like to discuss this further, or want to request technical assistance, please contact Angela Tanner-Dean, your OSEP State Contact, at 202-245-6320.

Sincerely,

Melody Musgrove, Ed.D.
Director
Office of Special Education Programs                    

Enclosures

  • New York Part B FFY 2009 SPP/APR Response Table - PDF PDF Document(100 KB)
  • How the Department Made Determinations under Section 616(d) of IDEA in 2010:  Part B - PDF PDF Document(24 KB)


cc:  State Director of Special Education

Last Updated: March 27, 2012