Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
To ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for employment and independent living. Each school district must have Individual Educational Plans (IEPs) in effect for each child with a disability within its jurisdiction.
- IEPs are developed by teams that include the child's parents, a special educator, the local educational agency, and if appropriate a regular educator and others.
- Children with disabilities must be included in general state- and district-wide assessments, including the assessments required under NCLB.
- Beginning in Fiscal Year 2006 up to 15% of IDEA funding may be set aside by the LEA for intervention services to students with reading and math difficulties who have not yet been referred for special education.
How funds are distributed:
State educational agencies (SEAs) receive grants based on the number of children with disabilities receiving special education services ages 3 through 21, multiplied by 40% of the average per pupil expenditure in public elementary and secondary schools.
- SEAs grant local educational agencies (LEAs) the amount it would have received for fiscal year 1999, if the State had distributed 75% of its grant for that year.
- SEAs allocate 85% of any remaining funds to those LEAs on the basis of the relative numbers of children enrolled in public and private elementary schools and secondary schools within the LEAs jurisdiction.
- SEAs allocate the remaining 15% to those local educational agencies in accordance with their relative numbers of children living in poverty, as determined by the SEA.
- LEAs allocate funds to schools based on their needs and programs.
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How funds may be spent:
For costs associated with meeting the needs of a child with a disability as specified in the child’s IEP, even if one or more non-disabled children benefit from these services including:
- Special education services, related services, and supplementary aids and services provided in a regular class or other education-related setting.
- Development and implementation expenses related to fully-integrated and coordinated services system for serving students with special educational needs.
- Intervention services to students with reading and math difficulties who have not been referred for special education services.
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